HUNDREDS of Lahorites took to the streets on Sunday and staged protest demonstrations against gas shortage, electricity loadshedding and increase in petroleum rates in different parts of the provincial metropolis and blamed the government for not providing basic amenities to the citizens.
The protest demonstrations were mainly held at Chungi Amar Sidhu on Ferozepur Road, Johar Town, China Chowk, Samanabad, Gulshane Ravi and Shahdra areas against gas and electricity loadshedding and increase in petroleum rates. Most of the localities had suffered from severe gas shortage and up to 10 hoursí electricity loadshedding on Sunday. The residents of Chnugi Amar Sadhu, Kot Lakhpat and other areas blocked main Ferozepur Road and chanted slogans against the government and politicians for failing to provide them with basic needs of life.
The angry protestors also burnt tyres and banned entry of every kind of vehicular traffic which created severe traffic jam on Ferozpur Road. The protestors chanted slogans against continuous shortage of gas for the last many days.
PML-N MNA Naseer Bhutta reached the scene and tried to pacify the angry mob. However, the youngsters and housewives got infuriated and reacted strongly by chanting slogans against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. They asserted that the leaders of Punjab government had failed to provide them with gas, electricity and petrol even on higher rates. They said that the government had not taken any practical steps for providing citizens with the basic needs but fooling them through political statements
The protestors said that the problems of people had not been decreased for the last two weeks as there was no gas at any time of the day in homes while the PML-N tried to cash in on the situation and instigate people against rival parties.
Housewives said they were facing problems due to gas outages as their children and husbands had to go to schools and offices respectively without having breakfast for the last many days. The protestors also burnt utility bills and said Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) had failed to provide gas to domestic users. The consumers also criticised the provincial government for ignoring domestic users and giving priority to the industries. A domestic consumer, Khalid, said that everyone knew that Punjab government was being run by industrialists and they were more interested in running their factories. Meanwhile, the electricity supply was suspended with repeated intervals in different parts f the City as Lesco has failed to provide any relief to the consumers despite cold weather and less demand.
Moreover, the leaders and members of World Pasban Khatam-e-Nabowat also held protest demonstration against price hike and drone attacks in front of the Lahore Press Club. The protestors blamed America for drone attacks, suicide bombings and price hike. The leaders were of the view that if the government failed to provide relief to the masses, poor people would become bombers for bringing about a bloody revolution.