Gas crisis worsening in Punjab, Islamabad

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

With increased demand for natural gas amid dipping temperatures, the gas crisis is worsening in Punjab and Islamabad leaving the consumers high and dry with no gas flowing to pipes to glow their stoves. Every year it has become a routine for domestic consumers in the urban centers to use firewood or gas cylinders as the piped gas goes missing with the start of the winter, thus further burdening the budget of common households.
After the installation of the present government, promises were made to end the energy crisis. Though significant improvement has been seen towards power generation but despite the import agreement with Qatar for import of gas, the situation has yet not improved for the gas consumers. The situation has aggravated to the level that over the last few days, the CNG stations have also been closed down due to low pressure or no gas.
Talking to Pakistan Observers, the people were of the view that the country has sufficient resources of gas but these have not been exploited by our successive governments to bring improvements in the lives of the people. They said that due to shortage of gas, the people constructing new houses are also getting problems in getting the gas connections.
“We have to grease the palm of the concerned officials to get a connection even after the payment of urgent fee, said many of the people currently constructing their residences. They were of the view that the situation will further deteriorate if the government did not take any urgent steps towards the resolution of the problems on urgent basis.
The acute gas shortage has stressed the people out, especially in the morning and after the sunset. Some people blamed their misery on the diversion of gas to power plants and industries. “It is the domestic consumers, who have the first right to gas supply, so the gas should be given to industrial units only after the needs of domestic consumers are met Some people threatened to stage sit-ins on the roads to vent out their anger against gas outages.

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