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Traders observe shutdown against persisting power outages in Hyderabad

Traders observe shutdown against persisting power outages in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: Tired of unannounced loadshedding, outages and breakdowns, consumers have accused officials of power utilities of being corrupt to the core and grossly inept in redressing their grievances.

In Hyderabad, shopkeepers of wholesale pharmaceutical market staged a token strike by pulling down shutters of their shops for a couple of hours in protest against weeklong power breakdown in the market. The protest was organised by the Wholesale Pharma Owners Association.

The protesters shouted slogans against ‘officials’ incompetence and rampant corruption’ in the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco).

The president of the association’s Hyderabad chapter, Jawaid Memon, told journalists that a pole-mounted transformer (PMT) supplying power to the market burnt out a week ago.

The officials of Hesco Sarfaraz Colony subdivision were paid Rs18,000 to repair the PMT, they replaced it but hardly after a day it also burnt out. Since Monday night, shopkeepers and residents of Advani Ghitti had no power, he said.

He said that some Hesco officials had assured that the power supply would be restored till Wednesday evening. If electricity was not restored then the entire wholesale market would remain shuttered the whole day in protest, he said.

He said that Hesco officials were forcing peaceful and law-abiding traders to go on a strike against prolonged outages, officials’ corruption and incompetence, and appealed to honest officers to ensure power supply to the market immediately.

Meanwhile, residents of Sanjar Mirbahar Goth in Qasimabad protested against ‘rampant corruption’ in Hesco and disconnection of power supply to the village over ‘non-payment of bills by some consumers’ five months back.

They protested outside the Hesco head office in Hussainabad where they shouted slogans against ‘corrupt officials’ and said they received over 50 electricity metres after making prescribed payment but now the Hesco officials were demanding an additional Rs1,000 for each connection.

They said that they were poor and could not afford to pay the extra money to the ‘corrupt’ Hesco officials. They demanded immediate restoration of power supply to the locality.

Many areas in Hyderabad have been facing frequent power outages over the week and complaints are growing about the PMTs burning out and Hesco maintenance staff not coming to localities repair the faulty transformers.

The areas worst hit by the outages are; Hirabad, Tando Wali Mohammad, Paretabad, Phulelli, Saddar, Latifabad Units-4, 5, 10, 11 and12, Sheedi Goth, Anwer Villas and Qasimabad.

In Sukkur, residents of Waspur Muhalla took to the streets in protest against the Sukkur Electric Power Company and burnt-out PMT in the area for the past four months.

The protesters said that despite passage of four months, the PMT supplying power to their area had neither been repaired nor replaced, adding to agonies of people during summer heat.

They warned they would cordon off the Sepco office if the PMT was not replaced immediately and power supply was not restored to the area.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2016

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