Electricity tariff hike: Countrywide protests continue

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The protest demonstrations against inflated electricity bills continued across the country on Saturday. People came out on the streets in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Toba Tek Singh, Tala Gang and other cities today to register their protest against the levy of additional taxes that had led to astounding increase in the power tariff.

They blocked roads by burning tyres, torched their electricity bills, and shouted anti-government slogans. They also demanded the government to end the facility of free supply of electricity to ministers and government servants. They also demanded relief for the households consuming up to 300 units of electricity.

A large number of workers of Jamaat-e-Islami and traders held a demonstration outside WASA’s office in Rawalpindi against mind-boggling increase in electricity and water rates. Speaking on the occasion, representatives of business community complained that the WASA had increased water bills from 300 to 1,500 per cent.

They said in these circumstances it was becoming extremely difficult for them to do business. They shouted slogans against the government and the WASA officials.
Traders in Peshawar came out on roads to vent their anger at the government over hike in the electricity tariff. The protestors blocked the Circular Road and took out a rally. They shouted anti-government slogans and torched their bills.

They demanded the government to withdraw increase in the electricity rates immediately. Women at Toba Tek Singh lost their temper as they held a demonstration against inflated electricity bills in Bukhshi Park locality.

Holding bills in their hands, the protestors said that at a time when they were finding it hard to meet their both ends meet, how they could pay huge sums to the government.

They said they were not even in a position to bring up their kids, and now to rub salt into their wounds, they had been burdened with power bills. The women appealed to the government to take notice of the situation and rid them of their predicament. A large number of people, including religious scholars, traders and lawyers, held a demonstration at Tala Gang.

They demanded the government to provide them relief by reducing the bills. Similar protests were also reported from Hafizabad, Feroze Watowan and other small cities and towns.