CNG stations shutdowns to continue till Feb 15
KARACHI, Dec 26: Despite strong objections from the general public and stakeholders to weekly shutdowns of CNG stations, the schedule of gas loadshedding will continue to be followed until the middle of February next year when gas demand is expected to drop, it emerged on Monday.
This week all CNG stations across Sindh and Balochistan will remain shut from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning and from Friday morning to Saturday morning.
At a meeting with representatives of CNG associations and business community at the Governor’s House, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad said that the programme of weekly shutdowns of CNG stations on which all the stakeholders, according to him, had agreed to would be followed.
The governor said the situation would improve after Feb 15, 2012 with a drop in the overall demand.
He assured the participants at the meeting that the government would give protection to the CNG business in which Rs465 billion had been invested. “We will not allow it to be destroyed.”
He said CNG was environment friendly and helped in saving precious foreign exchange. But he expressed concern over the recent incidents of gas cylinder explosion in public transport vehicles and directed the CNG associations to help transporters ensure security of gas containers.
The representatives of the CNG associations demanded punitive action against those responsible for the fitting of defective CNG kits and cylinders in vehicles which caused many accidents.
Mian Muneer, Mian Zahid Hussain and Khalid Tawab, representing the business community and CNG association chairman Abdus Sami Khan, CNG owners association chairman Malik Khudabaksh, Junaid Ismail Makda, Shabbir Suleman and others attended the meeting.
The Sui Southern Gas Company, meanwhile, announced this week’s schedule of closures of CNG stations in Sindh and Balochistan.
All CNG stations will be shut from 9am on Wednesday to 9am on Thursday. They will be open for next 24 hours. The second shutdown will begin from 9am on Friday and end at 9am on Saturday.
According to an SSGC spokesperson, this step is being taken by the gas utility to improve the line-pack position in Sindh and Balochistan which has been badly affected due to increased domestic gas load during the winter.
CNG dealers and other stakeholders condemned the decision and planned a protest demonstration on Wednesday at the YMCA premises against the SSGC decision.
Perturbed over a recent statement by the federal minister for petroleum and natural resources about a proposed one-month closure of CNG stations in Sindh and Balochistan, CNG dealers maintained that this would not only ruin their businesses but also create enormous difficulties for commuters.