File Photo: Growers burnt tires and blocked national highways in Balochistan in protest over power outages: Photo taken from social media

Manan Mandokhail:

QUETTA: Growers blocked all main highways across Balochistan against unannounced and prolonged load shedding on Thursday morning. The members of the Balochistan Zamindar Action Committee blocked highways and staged protest demonstrations against power outages.

“Growers have suffered huge financial losses because of power outages”, Haji Abdul Rehman Bazai, the leader of the Zamindar Action Committee said. He said despite repeated assurances, the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) had failed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the growers community in Balochistan.

Women, Children, Patients Suffered

Passengers traveling on highways remained the worst sufferers as a result of the blockade. Especially, women, children, patients, and aged passengers faced a lot of difficulties because of the blockade. They were forced to wait for hours for the reopening of the highways.

The growers blocked highways at the main Lak Pass, suspending traffic between Quetta and Karachi. They also blocked the Quetta-Chaman highway at Syed Hameed Cross in the Killa Abdullah district to vent their anger against the QESCO authorities.

Growers Claim Power Outages Causing Financial Loss

“We want the proper power supply to save our orchards and standing crops”, Malik Naseer Ahmed Shahwani, another Zamindar Action Committee leader demanded. He said the growers’ community had suffered financial losses of billions of rupees because of the prolonged and unannounced load shedding in Balochistan.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on all highways because of the growers’ community’s protest. However, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the province on the eve of the protest.

Over Rs. 417 bs Outstanding Against Agri Consumers: QESCO

The QESCO officials however stated there were outstanding of Rs.417 billion against the growers across Balochistan. They claimed that despite repeated notices, the agriculture consumers were reluctant to pay their bills.

The growers then reopened all highways in view of masses troubles on Thursday evening and the traffic was restored.

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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.