Protests against abnormal electricity bills intensify

Power distribution companies compelled to think of police protection for offices, employees

ISLAMABAD   -  Protests of the electricity consumers in several parts of the country, against abnormal electricity bills, intensified during the last one week compelling the power distribution companies to think of police protection for its offices and employees.

“Your kind attention is invited towards, this important issue that consumers are visiting different offices of IESCO in shape of group/mob & protesting against the IESCO on electricity issues. The employees of IESCO are feeling unrest while performing their duties. The situation is quite alarming which may lead to create law & order, damaging of IESCO property/installations etc. It is therefore, requested to kindly deploy police force at IESCO offices to ensure protection of IESCO employees & property to avoid unpleasant situation,” IESCO said in a letter to City Police Officer.

In Karachi, angry consumers have attacked the KE’s staff for consecutively two days over the issue of inflated electricity bills. An official of the KE told The Nation on the condition of anonymity that if attacks on KE staff or offices continue the possibility of calling the police or even ranger cannot be ruled out. However, he said that at the moment two FIRs have been lodged against the attackers.

In Peshawar Electricity Supply Company area a man self-immolated himself over receiving inflated electricity bill. While on Friday angry consumers protested against PESCO and burned their bills. In the jurisdiction of other Discos also there were scattered protests against the heavy electricity bills, where people have burnt their bills.

Meanwhile, IESCO spokesperson said that IESCO has consistently given priority to consumer interests, and its employees work diligently to ensure continuous electricity supply to consumers, addressing concerns even during cold weather, hot weather, unforeseen disasters, and festivals. IESCO appeals to its esteemed customers, emphasising that it is a power distribution company responsible for procuring and delivering electricity to consumers, along with providing various electricity-related services. The IESCO employees are also part of this effort. If offices or other facilities are damaged, it will be equivalent to harming the nation. Therefore, they should avoid participating in any protest that, under any pretext, damages government property, facilities, or employees. He said that Chief Executive of IESCO, Dr Muhammad Amjad Khan, has directed all offices to offer the convenience of electricity bill instalment plans to visiting customers. If customers have inquiries about electricity bills, they can contact the relevant Sub-Divisional Office, Revenue Office, or Customer Service Centres, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile some other Discos have also issued directives to their employees, that to avoid angry consumers wrath, not to disclose their identities in public.

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