PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak Wednesday warned they would withdraw security of Wapda installations and halt the system by force if the federal government failed to provide Rs 3 billion for replacement of outdated power grid stations and uninterrupted electricity supply within a week.
He said this while leading a protest demonstration of PTI workers and legislators against the Wapda and the federal government. He demanded the Centre give due share of the province in electricity and ensure handing over of Pesco to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
PTI MPAs Mushtaq Ghani, Ziaullah Afridi, Muhammad Atif Khan, MNA Ayesha Gulalai, Sardar Sorang Singh and Adviser to Chief Minister Isthiaq Umar along with the party workers and leaders as well as dozens of activists of Jamaat-e-Islami participated in the protest. The demonstration started from Colonel Sher Khan Stadium (Army Stadium), Khyber Road, and marched up to Wapda House, Peshawar.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said he had requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to provide Rs 3 billion for improvement of grid stations. He warned if the federal government did not fulfil their demands, they would be forced to halt the system by force.
“We are staging a peaceful protest against the excessive power outages, to tell the people that the KP government will not let anyone to usurp their rights,” said Khattak. He asked the federal government to release Rs 3 billion for the KP government to upgrade the outdated grid stations and lines.
He warned if excessive loadshedding did not come to an end within a week, they would stop supply of electricity to the Punjab.
Khattak said KP was producing over 3,500MW of electricity, but it was getting only 1,300MW against its demand of 2,400MW. “We sell electricity to the Centre at Rs 4 per unit, but buy the same electricity for over Rs 16 per unit,” he revealed, adding KP was getting natural gas less than that the province was producing.
The chief minister alleged Wapda employees were involved in electricity theft and said Pesco should be handed over to the KP government. He demanded inexpensive and smooth supply of electricity to the province and a massive cut in loadshedding to mitigate difficulties of the consumers.
He asked Wapda to resolve the issue of loadshedding as quickly as possible and provide relief to the masses if it wanted cooperation from his government. He said if the Punjab could ban wheat to KP, the province could also cut electricity supply to the Punjab.
Commenting upon the PTI-led long march on Independence Day, the KP CM urged the elderly, youth and children to participate in the August 14 rally of the party in Islamabad and prove that they would get their rights or topple the government elected through rigging.
On July 13, Pervez Khattak had vowed to lead a demonstration to Wapda House, Peshawar, if the issue of prolonged and widespread loadshedding was not resolved. He had claimed the provincial government could end electricity shortage if the Centre handed over the control of power supply to KP.