CM KP Gandapur raids grid station, restores power as loadshedding dispute escalates

CM KP Gandapur raids grid station

Peshawar, JUN 19: The power loadshedding dispute in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has reached a critical point, propelling Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur to gate-crash a grid station and forcibly restore the power supply on top of declaring his “very own” outage plan, Geo News reported on Wednesday.

In a decisive move to address the issue, Gandapur visited the Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan) grid station to oversee the restoration of electricity.

On the occasion, CM Gandapur fixed the loadshedding duration at 12 hours.

“No area will face loadshedding beyond 12 hours. Assembly members should visit grid stations in their respective areas to ensure compliance with the loadshedding schedule,” he said.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, CM Ali Amin Gandapur picked apart the federal government for withholding approximately Rs1,600 billion in dues and revenues owed to the provincial government.

“The federal government said it needs some time to review the power system and asked for our support,” he said. “However, the timeline given to the Centre has expired. I tried to contact Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) Awais Leghari but received no response.”

“This means you (the people) and we are free,” he stated, urging everyone to follow his policy and spread it. “No one should damage any Wapda asset because it is our asset, made with our tax money.”

Addressing the police, Gandapur said: “I have informed the KP police chief that no cases should be registered against anyone at Wapda’s request. This is KP’s police. It is not bound to Wapda. Wapda is committing injustice, and we are not getting our due rights. You have to act justly.”

“Imran Khan has made me the chief minister of your province. As the chief executive, you must follow my instructions.”

To the administration, he emphasised the need to follow his directives, ensuring personnel accompany lawmakers to oversee grid stations and ensure no faults and no loadshedding beyond 12 hours.

“It is the federal government’s responsibility to resolve these issues, but it is failing, hence the criticism,” Gandapur said.

He announced plans to curtail the national power supply from the province. “I am also coming to Islamabad. Don’t think I am saying this only from my province. I will say all this in Islamabad too.”

Addressing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Gandapur said: “The prime minister called and spoke about the province’s support to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I first want my province’s money; otherwise, I will clearly tell the IMF that they are taxing our people and taking money in our name.”

“Your (PM’s) behaviour and actions are forcing us to push your government aside. I know your capacity and how you are in power, and I will take actions step by step. Eventually, you will not be able to bear it, and even those who brought you to power will not be able to save you.”

Gandapur alleged that the federal government had failed to fulfil its promises and would now face the consequences.

Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Fazal Elahi, a member of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), strongarmed his way into the Rehman Baba grid station in Peshawar on Tuesday and restored power in his area.

The police registered an FIR regarding this incident but did not name MPA Fazal Elahi in the case.

Officials from Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) reported that MPA Elahi forcibly restored power to ten feeders with high line losses at 11 PM, causing a financial loss of Rs2.64 million to PESCO.

According to PESCO officials, these feeders have since been shut down again. The power company officials noted that Elahi’s constituency was served by feeders with high losses, leading to 16-hour loadshedding in those areas.

PESCO further clarified that in KP’s rural areas with high line losses, 16-hour loadshedding was being implemented. However, in areas with no losses, no loadshedding is being conducted, they added.

This incident came on the heels of the viral video of MPA Fazal Elahi and his companions lying on cots within the Rehman Baba grid station, after forcibly restoring power to ten feeders.