PHC directs Peshawar commissioner to facilitate Pesco-lawmakers meeting

Bureau report
Thursday, May 23, 2024

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed the commissioner Peshawar to arrange a meeting between the officials of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and the lawmakers representing NA-30 constituency to resolve the issue of loadshedding and the recovery of the outstanding dues.

A bench comprising Justice Syed Arshad Ali and Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar heard the petition. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Member National Assembly Shandana Gulzar, lawmakers from provincial assembly constituencies PK-71 and PK-72 as well as Pesco officials appeared before the bench. The lawyers Ashfaq Daudzai and Lajbar Khan representing the petitioners told the bench that most of the villages in the limits of NA-30 were deprived of the supply of electricity as Pesco had cut off the power connections.

They said in some villages, electricity was provided for one hour. The MNA told the court that the Pesco did not provide electricity while sending inflated bills to the consumers. She said the issue of the outstanding electricity dues dated back to the time when the Afghan refugees lived in the villages. She said that a former sub-division officer had collected Rs4.2 million from the local people and disappeared. She said that the people had lost faith in the system. The lawmaker said that the feeders were shut down 10 months ago, but Pesco was sending bills to the consumers. She said the villagers were facing a shortage of drinking water due to loadshedding. Pesco Chief Engineer Gul Nabi told the court that there were 9000 hooks (kundas) on five feeders in the area.

MPA Samiullah told the bench that Pesco had over 2 lakh power meters, adding that the local people were willing to pay Rs2000 to Rs4000 for meter installation. The bench asked the Pesco officials what steps had they taken to install the new meters.

The chief engineer said that Pesco held a Khuli Kutcherhi to persuade the villagers to stay paying the bills, but they were reluctant to do so. The court directed the commissioner Peshawar to facilitate the holding of a meeting between the Pesco officials and the local lawmakers to sort things out.