Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gas supply to industries, CNG stations in Punjab halted

Gas supply to industries, CNG stations in Punjab halted
RAWALPINDI: Due to the increasing gas crisis in the country, the government has temporarily halted the supply of Sui gas to all industries and CNG stations across the Punjab province. However, the move failed to lessen the pressure for domestic consumers, who saw no respite from the low gas pressure. On the other hand, the step pushed the transporters against the wall. Long queues of vehicles were seen on Sunday at a few CNG stations where gas supply was available.

Our Lahore correspondent adds: Closure of industries and filling stations has not proved effective for providing uninterrupted natural gas to the domestic sector as people continued to complain about the low pressure on Sunday.
However, there has been little improvement in the gas pressure in certain localities following the closure of CNG stations and suspension of gas supply to the industry. The SNGPL officials are confident that supply to the domestic and commercial consumers would stabilise in a day or so.
Various domestic consumers complained about gas loadshedding while talking to our sources on Sunday. “My family is unable to cook food properly,” said Muhammad Amer, a resident of Iqbal Town. Life has badly been affected as gas is not available for heating water, he maintained. He said the closure of CNG stations was also costing him dearly as he had to run his car on petrol.
Meanwhile, sources said the SNGPL had decided in principle to restore gas supply to CNG stations after gas supply to domestic and commercial consumers became normal. It is hoped that CNG stations in Lahore will be allowed to run from Wednesday while filling stations in Islamabad may be allowed to operate even earlier, sources added.
The SNGPL has decided to stick to the gas selling agreement signed with industries for the supply of gas for nine months, excluding winter. On the other hand, domestic, commercial and CNG consumers will be provided gas uninterruptedly keeping in view their respective selling agreements that ensured 12-month constant supply of gas.
Earlier, CNG filling station owners said the SNGPL had issued a notice to keep CNG stations closed in Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Lahore for an indefinite period. The Chairman of the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Supreme Council, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, termed the step unfair and an injustice to the CNG sector. He demanded that gas supply to industries and bulk gas consumers should be immediately suspended to improve gas availability for domestic sector. “It is evident that CNG stations are not responsible for the gas crisis. Instead, bulk gas users are responsible for this problem as they use heavy amount of gas and leave very little in the network, which hardly reaches the urban areas,” he added.

He warned that continuation of the present gas management policy would further aggravate the situation. He said people would come on the roads and it will force the CNG filling station owners to come on the roads with the public. Paracha said if the government did not end gas loadshedding and restore the supply to the domestic and CNG sectors, a complete strike would be observed.

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