LAHORE, Dec 28: Around 3,200 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations out of 3,376 remained closed on Friday as well that made it straight fifth day closure throughout the country.
According to the CNG Association, they have been informed that situation would remain the same for the next 24 hours as well. Thus, there would be no gas on Saturday (today) as well.
“Only 176 stations in some parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were opened on Friday,” says Ghias Piracha, head of the association.
“Where has the gas gone? The ministry and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) need to explain. The domestic pressure has gone down by 50 per cent. The industry is up in the arm for gas. All the officials need to explain where the gas has gone,” he demanded.
He said the ministry and the distribution companies were not providing gas to most common consumers, except for a few bulk buyers, to control their line losses. He said the CNG association had maintained it in the Supreme Court and had been telling everyone, but to no avail.
He said the association would meet on Sunday (tomorrow) to discuss the future line of action.
Muhammad Shabbir, the owner of a CNG station in the city, warned the government might face petrol crunch in coming days as vehicles were shifting to the fuel in the absence of CNG.
“The government has created havoc for millions of CNG consumers by closing the stations for almost a week now,” laments Muhammad Ramzan of Gulberg area from Lahore. It is either the CNG station owners striking or the government closing the stations. All this is being done at the cost of common man. Even when available, it takes hours to get the tank filled because there is no pressure and compression takes much longer than normal. The entire CNG industry has thus gone topsy turvy – for consumers at least. The missing CNG means around 40 to 50 per cent additional cost of traveling for people already pressed hard for survival.