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Lahore: Protests against frequent, long-hour outages

A large number of electricity consumers from all three categories — domestic, commercial and industrial — came on the city streets in protest against the worst kind of load-shedding on Thursday.

The traders of Hall Road staged a demonstration at 4pm against the frequent power outages they experienced throughout the day on Thursday. The protestors blasted the PEPCO and LESCO authorities, terming them inefficient and clumsy.

They said they lodged a number of complains with the authorities, but no one paid any heed to their complaints.

Another demonstration against load-shedding was staged at Anarkali Square on The Mall, participated by hundreds of Anarkali Bazaar traders. They blocked The Mall for some time and raised slogans against load-shedding and the LESCO officials.

Anjuman-e-Tajiran Anarkali President M Ashraf Bhatti said traders were experiencing nine load-shedding hours out of total 12 working hours.

He said he, along with other traders, visited the office of LESCO Chief Executive Muhammad Akram Arain, but he refused to provide any help saying he could do nothing as it was purely a generation problem on national level.

The trader leader said no LESCO staff including SDO or XEN takes their calls whenever they telephone them to inform them about unscheduled outages or register their protest.

In a previous news item of The News, PEPCO Energy Management and Conservation director general had categorically stated that load-shedding in Lahore was entirely due to problems in LESCO and it was not a problem related to electricity generation on national level.

Anarkali traders also held LESCO responsible for the load-shedding crisis, saying the CEO, Akram Arain, never listened to their complaints and suggestions and they knew it very well that mismanagement and corruption were well rooted in the power company hierarchy from top to bottom. Domestic consumers were also seen complaining about long load-shedding hours on Thursday. A man from Wafaqi Colony called The News at 5pm and stated that they were without electricity from 10am. He said he made several call to the area SDO and XEN on the numbers given on the electricity bill, but to no avail.

He said he also called LESCO CEO Muhammad Akram Arain, but he said he could do nothing as the problem was not related to LESCO only and the load-shedding was being experienced throughout the country in the same way.

According to the LESCO spokesman, the current power shortfall in Lahore was 1,000MW on Thursday.

Source: The News

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