Power outages: Women take to streets

CHARSADDA, June 25: With increase in intensity of heat wave, the public anger over the unabated power outages in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also gone up with women in Charsadda taking to the streets for the first time against prolonged loadshedding and low voltage on Saturday.

Fed up with the hours-long unannounced power cuts, women from different localities staged a protest demonstration at Farooq Azam Chowk here on Saturday and blocked all the link roads passing through this main square for over three hours in intense heat. Social activist Safia Noruz and Lala Rukh advocate of Pakistna Tehrik-i-Insaf led the protest rally.

They chanted slogans against the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) for what they called creating subhuman conditions for the people to live in during the hot weather conditions. Speaking on the occasion, they criticised the parliamentarians from the area, saying they had got settled in Islamabad and were least bothered about the problems of people of their constituencies.

Later, Assistant Coordination Officer Naeem Khan reached the venue and persuaded the angry protestors to end the blockade of roads, which caused worst traffic jam. On the ACO`s assurance that their demands would be conveyed to the commissioner Peshawar and Pesco authorities, the protesting women ended their protest and dispersed peacefully.

In Swat, police baton-charged and fired tear gas shells to disperse a protest demonstration against power outages at Barikot tehsil. The PTI had organised the protest demonstration.

The protestors blocked the main highway linking Swat with parts of the country which saw the police swinging into action resorting to baton charge and firing tear gas shells at the protestors. The police also briefly detained six local PTI activists, including Fazal Ahad, Aman Jan, Qasim and Naeem Khan.

The people ended their protest after army officers in the area assured them that the problem of unannounced power loadshedding would be resolved in five days.

In Mansehra, hundreds of people blocked the Mansehra-Oghi road on Saturday against the prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding. The angry protesters also took out rallies in Jabory and Barkund areas and blocked roads for over two hours.

The traffic between Mansehra and Oghi and Mansehra and Jabory remained suspended for quite some time. The blockade was lifted when the police officials reached the spot and assured the protesters that their grievances would be communicated to the Pesco chief.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/26/power-outages-women-take-to-streets.html

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