WAPDA workers dharna, protest privatisation at Parliament House Islamabad on 08-02-2012 :
ISLAMABAD February 8, 2012) : Thousands of WAPDA workers from all over the country took out a protest rally on Wednesday in front of Parliament House under the aegis of Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union (PWHECLU), against privatisation and outsourcing of chief executives of the electricity companies.
The workers were carrying banners in support of their demands and raising slogans, like ‘down with Independent Power Projects and Rental Power Houses,’ causing price hike. The protesters called for generating electricity through hydel & coal-fired thermal power stations in the public sector to provide cheaper electricity to people and overcome serious load shedding.
They also demanded recovery of Rs one billion electricity dues from Karachi Electric Supply Company and government and semi-government agencies.
The rally was led by General Secretary Khurshid Ahmad and Union President Abdul Latif Nizamani and accompanied by the office-bearers of Electrical Engineers Association and trade unions’ representatives from all over the country, including, Gohar Taj, Mian Rehman Ghani, Javed Iqbal Baloch, Ramzan Jadoon (Islamabad), Mian Abdul Rashid (Faisalabad) Iqbal Dar, Wali ur Rehman (Gujranwala), Ch Ghulam Rasul, Malik Saeed (Multan), Syed Zahid Hussain Shah, Sajjad Hussain, Osama Tariq (Lahore) and M Akram Bunda (Pakistan Workers Federation). The thousands of protesting workers condemned the privatisation of national utilities and outsourcing the jobs of professionals.
Addressing the rally, Khurshid Ahmed and Abdul Latif Nizamani said engineering association declared that the electricity employees have built up the national electricity network alone with their sweat and blood.
They said it was criminal negligence of the policy markers that they had not provided resources to WAPDA to build its own hydel and coal fired thermal power stations despite a 10 percent rise in demand for electricity every year. They criticised the generation of electricity through Independent Power Projects and Rental Power Houses costing Rs 25 to 50 per unit and denying the nation cheaper and sufficient quantity of electricity through natural resources.
They strongly urged the president and prime minister to intervene and get honoured the announcement made by the president on November 1.
Noting that the privatisation and disbanding of power unified system would raise inter-provincial dispute alike water distribution on differential power tariff and appealed to all patriotic forces of the nation to extend their support for this just demand in the public interest.