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KP CM leads march against power outages; issues one-week ultimatum

* Khattak tells PESCO to improve power supply or he will withdraw security from WAPDA installations and bring people on roads against it across province

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak gave Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) a week’s deadline to improve power supply, during a rally against power outages, warning if electricity situation remains unchanged its security would be withdrawn.
Reacting to the hours’ long unscheduled power cuts the chief minister gave a week’s deadline to the power utility to improve the system, warning that otherwise his government would withdraw security from WAPDA installations and bring the people to the roads against the power company, across the province. Chief Minister Khattak issued the warning while leading a protest march against the load shedding in the province. The deadline was announced during a protest sit-in on the premises of WAPDA House, a government communiqué said.
CM Khattak led a rally from the main gate of the Army Stadium to the WAPDA House, accompanied by ministers, MNAs, MPAs, traders and workers of the coalition partners. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with demands for an end to the load shedding. Khattak said the federal government has “forced” the provincial government to take drastic steps for its rights, noting that the power supply in the province was suspended from 18 to 20 hours.
“If Punjab can suspend supply wheat to other provinces then we can also stop electricity supply from our province to Punjab. We cannot accept the pretext that power supply system is fragile and cannot sustain the load because it is the duty of the federal government to approve Rs 3 billion for improvement of the system and install new grid stations to resolve the issue once for all,” the KP CM said. He said WAPDA should provide 2,000MW electricity to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The chief minister said that the province was getting only 1,300 megawatt of electricity. “If the federal government is unable to run the affairs of the power supply then it should hand over the Peshawar Electric Supply Company to the KP government. The provincial government would supply the electricity round-the-clock at Rs 4 per unit,” he asserted. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the CM said, had all kinds of natural resources and could easily produce hydropower, but the federal government is “not cooperating” with it. He said most of the industrial units in the province have been closed “because the entire supply was given to Punjab’s industries”. 

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