Growers protesting against hefty bills and power outages in Quetta: Photo provided by the author

Manan Mandokhail:

QUETTA: The agricultural community in Balochistan has voiced its frustration against prolonged power outages and burdensome bills in a recent protest. Led by the Balochistan Zamindar Action Committee (BZAC), growers and consumers alike took to the streets of Quetta to demand a resolution to their energy-related woes.

Fed up with QESCO: Shahwani

Malik Naseer Ahmed Shahwani, a central leader of the BZAC and former lawmaker in the Balochistan Assembly, asserted, “Power outages have resulted in billions of rupees in damages to growers.” He cited the inefficiency of the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) as the primary cause of the ongoing issues. Growers and domestic consumers are grappling with up to 22 hours of load shedding, adversely affecting their livelihoods.

Growers block the main Governor House’s Chowk

In a bid to pressure the power supply authority, BZAC members blocked the main thoroughfare leading to the Governor’s House and Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Their objective is clear: to ensure the provision of uninterrupted and consistent power supply for the region’s agricultural community.

“We demand a reliable power supply for growers.”

Mr. Shahwani stated, “We demand a reliable power supply for growers.” He didn’t mince words when criticizing both QESCO and the federal government for allegedly contributing to the damages faced by the growers.

Outstandings of Rs.419 bs against growers: QESCO Chief

Engaging with the concerns raised by the protesters, QESCO Chief Engineer Kareem Jamali disclosed that there is an outstanding amount of Rs. 419 billion owed by growers. He emphasized that settling these outstanding bills should precede discussions about improving power supply.

As the agricultural community continues to voice its grievances, the government and power supply authorities face mounting pressure to address the issues that have disrupted the lives and livelihoods of growers in Balochistan.

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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.