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MIANWALI: An intense unrest prevails among the 2,000 workers of a fertilizer factory at Daudkhel due to its closure for the last six months after the suspension of gas supply to it.

Javed Iqbal Khan, president of the CBA Union of Agri Tech Fertilizer Company, told a press conference on Monday the factory had now stopped salaries to the workers.

He said the closure of the factory had also lessened the fertilizer supply to farmers. He said the factory would produce 1,200 tons urea every day in good days when the gas supply was sufficient.

The factory has more than 2,000 workers.

Mr Khan said the government was planning to made an industrial zone along the route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor in Mianwali district, but the fertilizer company situated on the CPEC route had been lying closed for months and no government functionary bothered about the situation.

He demanded that the government save the factory and its workers by restoring gas supply to it immediately.

Rehan Munir, factory general manager, told Dawn that factory was functional till Nov 19, 2016. He said there was no dearth of natural gas in the country but the government was pressing them to use the liquified natural gas (LNG).

He said the fact was the LNG could not be used for manufacturing the fertilizer as it would multiply the production cost of urea.

He added they had requested the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to supply the gas to the fertilizers factory from the Tabi Sir area, which is few kilometers from Daudkhel.

He added the monthly salary of 2,000 workers altogether was Rs100 million and the six-month long closure had had dried up the accounts of the factory.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017