Friday September 22, 2023

SNGPL removes 323 illegal connections, recovers Rs75.4m

September 19, 2023

Islamabad:Determined to bring down the Unaccounted for Gas (UFG) ratio, the Regional Directorate of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has launched a massive crackdown against the elements involved in theft of the scarce and precious commodity, which continued unabated.

During the ongoing anti-gas-theft operations, the raiding teams so far unearthed more than 323 illegal connections and recovered Rs 75.4 million from defaulters. Sharing details, Islamabad-Regional SNGPL General Manager Azhar Rashid Sheikh in an exclusive talk with APP informed the special teams not only identified but also removed more than 270 illegal meters and 53 direct connections and recovered millions of rupees from the defaulted consumers.

He vowed that the region-wide crackdown against the gas pilferage would continue till knocking down all the elements involved in illegal tapping, causing loss to the national economy and depriving the consumers of gas, which was already in shortage due to the fast depletion in the country’s existing hydrocarbon reserves and high-price in the international market. Accordingly, he said a massive operation to curb gas theft, recover dues, and remove illegal connections was in full swing across the Islamabad-region on directives of the federal government.

So far, he said raids had been conducted in various areas including Chattah Bakhtawar, Gungal, G-7, I-14, E-18 Islamabad, Bhara Kahu, Tarlai Wah Cantt, Fateh Jang, and Attock. “During the drive more than 270 illegal meters and 53 direct connections have been removed, FIRs (First Information Reports) have been lodged against 37 individuals.

Gas thieves have been penalized with over Rs90 million fines, and legal action has resulted in the recovery of Rs75.4 million” he added. To get the required results, GM Azhar Rashid said the company had increased the number of raiding teams to gear up the ongoing operations against gas theft and make more recoveries from the defaulters. He praised that SNGPL Managing Director Aamir Tufail’s guidance had led to the establishment of a special task force in the Islamabad Region to step up action against gas theft.

Azhar Rashid emphasised that no hindrance should be tolerated in resolving consumer complaints, and any involvement in illegal activities should be reported to SNGPL authorities. He highlighted the challenges posed by dwindling gas reserves, with a decline of 9 to 10 per cent annually. While gas demand in Islamabad and Rawalpindi Division stands at 100 MMCFD (million cubic feet per day), against which only 50 MMCFD is currently available with the company, he added. This necessitates careful load manag­ement, with a focus on ensuring gas supply for domestic consumers during meal preparation times.