PESHAWAR: A large number of women protested against the shortage of gas and electricity outages in Lakki Marwat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.The protesters said that they suffer electricity outages up to 18 hours and gas outages for 14 hours routinely which makes it impossible for them to carry out their daily household chores.
The protest took place on Ashfaq Street of the city where women burned their electricity and gas bills and blocked the roads to stage their protest, saying that they have to go through the ordeal on a daily basis.
The frustrated protestors said that the streets “will remain blocked unless the deputy commissioner takes prompt measures to resolve the issue.”
It is to note that the negotiations between the administration and the protestors failed, resulting in commuters stuck on the road for extended hours.
According to Dawn and other news sources, ina rare occurrence, several women clad in burqas took to the streets in the Lakki city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lakki Marwat district on Tuesday and staged a sit-in to protest long hours of gas and electricity load shedding in the area.
The women began the protest at around 9am and blocked the main road in the city. Holding placards and shouting slogans, they demanded from the government and elected representatives in the area to end gas and power outages.
An elderly woman who was leading the demonstration said while addressing the protesters: “Why did we come out of our homes? Because the government compelled us to take to the streets.”
The woman, who did not reveal her identity, lamented hours-long gas and electricity load shedding in the area.
“We are facing around 14 hours of gas and almost 18 hours of electricity load shedding daily,” she said, reiterating that the situation had compelled her and other women to stage a protest for their rights.
The woman continued, “Where are our elected representatives. They don’t show up when we are in trouble.”
Other protesters also criticised the MNAs and MPAs elected from the area, complaining that after the elections they were found mostly in Islamabad and not available for the people who voted for them.
As an expression of protest, they also burned gas and electricity bills, saying that they had been paying thousands of rupees for the two utilities.
Later, other local residents, including men, also joined the protest in large numbers. The protest continued for six hours and caused problems for commuters as demonstrators blocked the city’s main road.
Meanwhile, representatives, including the recently elected tehsil chairperson and councillor, visited the site of the sit-in and assured the protesters that they would raise the issue with high-ups.
The protest ended peacefully after assurances by relevant officials, including those of the Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation and district administration. The protesters, however, warned of another demonstration if their issues remained unresolved.
Since the onset of winter, the country has been facing a shortage of gas with domestic and industrial consumers facing problems.