RAWALPINDI, Jan 12: Whether it is shortage of drinking water during summer or low gas pressure in winter, residents in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, one way or the other, find a way to come around the problem.
While in summer residents have used suction pumps to overcome the shortage of water, in winter it is the use of a magic ‘compressor’ to ensure the full pressure of gas, even during loadshedding hours.
The compressor is an electrical device made by local mechanics and is cheaply available in the market.
According to Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) the practice is illegal but checking it is a challenge as an overwhelming number of residents are using it. The biggest losers are the residents not using it as the compressor hedges on the gas supply of residents in the neighbourhood.
A growing trend
Thousands of domestic consumers in the twin cities have installed compressors on their gas supply lines that suck and compress gas from the supply networks, supplying the desired gas pressure in the kitchen and ensuring provision of gas even during loadshedding hours.
Though the application of the new method has ensured gas in homes but consumers without compressors have been deprived of gas supply as the compressor sucks the gas and leaves nothing for houses, situated near a residence using a compressor.
The price of the compressor in the market ranges from Rs2,000 to Rs4,000, but consumers who cannot purchase the device are using an alternative device fitted in refrigerators with one end fitted in the gas supply line and another plugged in to a power cable.
According to Engineer Qayyum Khan, in-charge of connection and disconnection of units in Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) areas, installation of any additional appliance on gas supply line is illegal, acknowledging the massive practice of compressors by both domestic and commercial users.
The SNGPL engineer said that the violation was being committed by thousands of consumers, adding that it was a challenging task to take action against the trend.
The SNGPL official said that even if compressors were seized, the users would again resort to the method keeping in view the low price of the mechanical device.
“If you have low gas pressure, then install the device (compressor) and you will benefit from it. The only problem with the device is that it is electricity-powered,” said Yousaf Malik, a resident of Satellite Town, in Rawalpindi.
According to Mr Malik the device was a discovery of local mechanics.
Irfanullah, resident of I-9 sector complained that the major cause of low gas pressure in his house was due to the installation of a compressor by his neighbour, adding that he was forced to go for the same technique in order to suck pressure from the gas pipeline.
It is to be mentioned here that when there is shortage of drinking water in the summer, residents used suction pumps on the water supply lines for drawing the commodity that would deprive other consumers of water not using the device.