Hundreds of people held a protest and took out a rally as unscheduled and prolonged electricity loadshedding and scorching heat have jointly made their life miserable in Mingora, Watkay Malukabad, Nawakaly and other areas of the valley.

The protest demonstration was staged on main Mingora Road where hundreds of residents came out from their houses and participated in the rally. Life in Swat valley has become very miserable due to long hours of power outages. Electricity is mostly out for 18 to 20 hours in the city and in the remote villages it goes for 23 hours.

Nasir Ali, a student, said that loadshedding is the main hurdle in his way to continue preparing for entry test. He said students cannot study at night. He requested the high-ups to take an immediate action to rid them of the prolonged loadshedding. Hasham Khan, local factory worker, told The Nation that power outages have adversely affected the shopkeepers and small factories. If business owners cannot operate their business, their employees get affected too, he added, saying that the factories owner will not pay their worker if their factories are not functional.

Ismail Khan, a medical store owner, said that mostly it’s the poor people who are the most affected by loadshedding. “They do not get their wages because the factories have closed down,” he noted.

When contacted, Wapda XEN Sher Rehman in Mingora city said that he was not behind loadshedding. He further stated that the high officers are directly in contact with staff in switch room and give them order to cut electricity supply.

Power shut down duration is increasing day by day in the city. The dwellers of Swat said that Wapda officials turn off electricity for unannounced period creating problems for them. They demanded that the authorities concerned should take a sympathetic look at Swat resident’s and ensure reduction in loadshedding duration. Housewives, students, elderly persons and patients equally suffer unscheduled power outages.

MNA Murad Saeed, when contacted, said that Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa is not being provided with electricity according to its quota by the federal government. “We produce 4400MW in KPK, are getting 11MW while our right according to the quota is 16%. It means, we are getting 700MW less than our right,” he added.

The people of Swat urged chief minister, GM Wapda, Secretary Peshawar, Chef Justice of Peshawar High Court and other authorities concerned to have mercy on them and rid them of prolonged power outages.