Balochistan [Pakistan], July 1 (ANI): Farmers of Balochistan announced the closure of the Quetta-Karachi highway on July 4 against prolonged load shedding in the province by Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) and termed the unannounced power cuts the "economic murder of farmers", reported local media outlet.
According to sources, Zamindar Kisan Ittihad held an emergency meeting against a prolonged power outage in Balochistan, which was chaired by Central President Agha Lal Jan Ahmadzai. At the meeting, the farmer's leaders expressed their concerns over the prolonged and unannounced load shedding of electricity and termed it the economic murder of farmers.
On Monday, during a sit-in on the highway, farmers raised slogans and protested the load-shedding for long hours in Balochistan. Due to the demonstrations on the highway, the traffic remained suspended for several hours.
They expressed concern about their work getting badly affected due to the unannounced and long hours of load shedding and voltage fluctuation, reported Quetta Voice, Balochistan's media outlet. The farmers said that QESCO delivered bills every month but failed to provide electricity.
They lamented saying that the electricity is provided only for two hours a day.
Protesters also blocked the main Quetta-Karachi highway on Friday as a protest against unannounced load shedding in the area. In scorching heat, the passengers suffered on both sides of the highway because of the blockade.
Agha Laal Jan Ahmedzai, one of the central leaders of the growers' action committee said, "These power outages are paramount to the economic murder of growers. He said the QESCO had failed to provide power supply to growers and other domestic consumers.
"Our standing crops have been destroyed due to unannounced and prolonged load shedding," Ahmedzai lamented. The protesters were also chanting slogans against the QESCO and provincial government for their failure to provide power supply to the area.
The protestors also gave a clarion call to hold protests in Balochistan on July 4 and Ahmedzai warned that growers would block all highways across the province on that day if QESCO failed to provide an uninterrupted power supply to the growers.
However, he urged the masses to avoid travelling during the protest of growers in the province.
The Growers Action Committee (GAC) has repeatedly clarified that the QESCO should first provide power supply and then speak about the payment of bills. Jamali in an exclusive interview with Daily Quetta Voice said that QESCO was facing a shortfall of 1000 megawatts currently.
Growers in Balochistan's Mastung, Killa Abdullah, Pishin and other parts of the province have been protesting against power outages since the start of the summer season. "Whenever our crops season comes, QESCO stops power supply", Abdul Qahar Agha, another central leader of the GAC claimed.
QESCO officials said that it was forced to observe forced load shedding because of the shortfall, as per the media portal. (ANI)