Paying money from their own pockets to get transformer fixed has become a routine for people of Panjgur. Irrespective of whether its summer or winter the transformers are becoming out of order regularly in Panjgur and its surrounding areas.
“ The neighborhood transformer has been out of order for the past 3 years and Wapda has done nothing to fix it. We were left with no choice but to collect donations from residents and send the faulty transformer to a private workshop,” a resident of Khudabadan, Punjgur Abdul Qadir Baloch told Pak Voices.
“ It will take Rs 90,000 to fix the transformer and collecting such a huge amount of money from the poor people of the area is next to impossible. We have only been able to gather Rs 30,000”, he added.
Taking advantage of the situation the owners of private workshops have increased their labour charges.
A resident of Kalag Union Council Rahim Jan told Pak Voices, “Private workshops have started a looting scheme. They temporarily fix the transformer by using substandard wires. The transformer works for a few days and then it again becomes out of order.”
“ We have informed the higher ups of the power department many times of the situation, but our woes fall on deaf ears”, he lamented.
In this regard, a private workshop owner talking to Pak Voices told, “As the wiring and other equipment to fix the transformers are costly hence its repair becomes expensive”.
“It’s not our fault that the transformers are fixed at a higher cost, as we have to buy these things from open market”, he explained.
The situation of electricity in Panjgur is better than other areas of Balochistan as electricity for entire Makran Coast including Panjgur is being provided from Iran. However, locals insist that electricity is of no use to them until the transformers are fixed. While according to Wapda the problem is due to non-payment of bills.
When Pak Voices contacted a senior Wapda official Mohammad Mohim he said, “Majority of Panjgur consumers are not paying their bills and a large number of people are using electricity without any meter”.
“Due to non-payment of bills we have no system of an official workshop”, the official said.
Rafique Chakar is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Punjgur.