Sindh CM threatens to cut off gas supplies


Salahuddin Haider


A very serious situation developed when Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah burst out over the issue of gas supply to his province, holding out threats to take over the main offices of Sui Southern Gas Supply Corporation in Karachi, and cutting off supplies to other provinces.
His anger stemmed from the fact that Sindh, despite producing 70 percent of the gas, had remained deprived of its own item. One of its principal power houses, built by K-Electric in Nooriabad on the Super Highway, had remained idle for four months. It was to go into operation this month, but remained ideal for want of gas supplies for test running.
He told the provincial assembly Thursday that his patience was running out. His pleas to the federal government for the essential item, had gone unheeded. Wednesday night, he spoke to the managing director of the SSGC, who promised him to resume gas supplies to power house by 1100 a.m. Thursday, but the promise remained unfilled.
Fuming at the unfortunate situation, Shah, said that within this week, the federal government and Sindh province must sign a new contract, failing which he will take over the Sui Gas company offices in Karachi, and stop supplies outside the province.
It was tragic that smaller provinces were denied the right to use their own produce, a situation which was becoming unbearable, and cannot be tolerated any further. He will be forced to take sweeping action because that will be the only option.
He said he was not speaking for himself, or as chief minister of Sindh. He was voicing the sentiments of the people of entire province, and would seek cooperation of the entire house, including the opposition parties, to stand by his side and defend the interest of the southern province.
The chairman, Board of Investment, MIftah Ismail, who is also chairman of Sui Southern had a totally different story to tell.