Friday June 02, 2023

Consumers fume at gas supply suspension

By Bureau report
March 29, 2023

PESHAWAR: Despite repeated protest demonstrations by the people of the provincial capital city Peshawar, there seems no end to their sufferings as the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limped (SNGPL) is yet to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to its consumers in the city and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The lack of Sui gas supply to most areas of the provincial metropolis during Sehar and Iftar is hitting consumers hard who have called for improving the situation.The administration and the SNGPL had held assurances multiple times prior to Ramazan that uninterrupted gas supply would be ensured to consumers in the holy month but all those promises have been shattered as either the gas supply is suspended or the pressure is too low to prepare meals during Sehar and Iftar.

The lack of gas supply has become a headache for the Peshawarites as most of them have turned to firewood and electrical heaters for preparing meals for their families. Previously the gas crisis would appear in the winter but now it is not available even in the summer.

The chief justice of the Peshawar High Court had luckily taken notice of the sufferings of Peshawarites and ordered the suspension of gas supply to the CNG stations for a month to improve gas supply to domestic consumers. It had provided some relief to the domestic consumers but that proved short-lived as consumers are again facing serious Sui gas shortage.

Like the incumbent Azam Khan-led KP caretaker government, the former provincial government had failed to resolve the gas suspension issue in Peshawar. The chief minister would call the then SNGPL General Manager Taj Ali Khan to his office and issue directives to play his role in improving gas supply but the next day people would face the same problem.

An insider of the SNGPL told The News that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa isn’t getting its due share in Sui gas that’s why people are facing the problem. “I lost my complaint as there is no one to take note. What I did is to buy a large-size gas cylinder and start using it for cooking,” Roohul Amin, a resident of Army Officers Colony on the Bara Road of the Peshawar Cantonment, said.

The citizen said he was not alone, all his neighbours were using gas cylinders which were quite expensive but there was no other option left for them. He said they had lost trust in the government and particularly the caretaker setup as they have no control over the government and its departments.

The areas affected by the non-availability of the utility are Karimpura, Hashtnagri, Lahori Gate, Gulbaahar, Zaryab Colony, Faqirabad, Saeedabad, Corporation Colony, Dilzak Road, Yousafabad, Gullberg, Nathia and several other areas sited on the Ring Road and Regi Town

The consumers said they had to face the Sui gas loadshedding and low pressure in winter but a shortage of the utility or its low pressure in summer was beyond comprehension.They requested Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan, Governor Ghulam Ali and Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry to direct the SNGPL to ensure nonstop gas supply to domestic consumers, at least, during Ramazan.