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MANSEHRA: A local court on Thursday issued a stay order stopping the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Company from disconnecting gas supply to compressed natural gas stations in Mansehra city and adjoining areas over the alleged illegal pipeline replacement.

The additional sessions judge of Mansehra issued a stay order during the preliminary hearing into a petition jointly filed by the CNG stations facing suspension of gas supply.

Earlier in the day, the SNGPL’s consumer service department severed gas supply to two CNG stations for using over the unauthorised pipelines.

Head of the department Hashim Khan told Dawn that 13 CNG stations in Mansehra city and its suburbs were found to be involved in the illegally replacement of four-inch diameter pipelines with eight-inch ones. He said under the law, CNG stations couldn’t use such pipelines on their own. Mr Hashim said the SNGPL had laid eight-inch pipeline from the ‘wall assembly’ in Gazikot Township to College Doraha area but gave CNG stations pipelines of four-inch diameter.

He said the company would plead its case in the court hoping to get the stay order vacate at the earliest.

LANDOWNERS PAID: The district administration has begun making payments to Kaghan valley residents, whose 2,700 kanals land is being acquired for 870-megawatt Suki Kanari Hydropower Project.

The Rs200 billion initiative is to be executed on the Kunhar River in the valley under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Deputy commissioner Iqbal Hussain told reporters on Thursday that the people, whose land, forests, orchards and houses were to affected by the dam, would be properly compensated.

He said the price of land in Kaghan valley ranged from Rs120,000 per kanal to Rs2 million per kanal, while the land was to be acquired in Palas and Sawar Patwar circles at Rs0.1 million-Rs1.3 million per kanal. The deputy commissioner said the prices of residential, orchard and forest land would be fixed by the relevant departments before their owners were paid the money. Mr Hussain said work on the dam had resumed after remaining suspended for few days.

He said the district administration was committed to the smooth execution of the CPEC project in Mansehra.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017