GWADAR: Thousands of people took to the streets in Turbat, the divisional headquarters of Makran division, on Wednesday to protest against frequent and prolonged power outages in all the three districts of Kech, Gwadar and Panjgur.
The participants, carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands, marched on various streets and chanted slogans against the government and Qesco officials.
All the three districts are facing 16 to 18 hours of power suspension on a daily basis amid temperatures ranging between 51 and 52 degrees Centigrade.
PM urged to resolve issue affecting three districts
The residents of Absar area also staged rallies. The protesters staged a sit-in in front of the offices of the Makran commissioner, the deputy commissioner and Qesco. They called for immediate end to the power supply problem.
In a related development, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve the issue of electricity supply to Makran division.
In a letter addressed to Mr Khan, the chief minister requested him to take up with Iranian authorities the issue of suspension of power supply to Makran for the past one month and work out a mechanism to connect the division with the national grid.
Mr Alyani said Kech, Gwadar and Panjgur districts had a population of over 1.4 million and the Quetta Electricity Supply Company provided 100MW to Makran division from Iran through 132 kV transmission line.
He said the electricity supply was sufficient for the connected areas, but now the electricity in Kech, Gwadar and Panjgur districts was six percent on an annual basis. “Demand for electricity is increasing and a supply of 150MW is required to meet the needs of the division,” he said.
The chief minister said that for unknown reasons, power supply from Iran had been suspended for several days and only 10MW of electricity was provided daily.
Mr Alyani said Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal had also raised this issue in the federal cabinet. He urged locals to cooperate with the administration as the electricity was being imported from another country.
Published in Dawn, July 29th , 2021