PESHAWAR: The supply of natural gas remained suspended for around 36 hours on Tuesday in most parts of the provincial capital inconveniencing the local residents.
The SNGPL officials claimed that the gas suspension happened on Monday night after the Bus Rapid Transit construction workers damaged the main pipelines in different places simultaneously.
They added that the supply was restored by the SNGPL team led by general manager Arbab Saqib after 36 hours long hectic efforts.
The officials said the company worked from 9pm on Monday to 8pm on Tuesday to ensure the restoration of gas, which was interrupted after the main pipelines were damaged near Jinnah Park at three places by the BRT contraction workers on GT Road.
Such incidents have taken places many times since work on BRT began months ago causing serious problems for gas consumers, including those living in Hayatabad Township.
The residents of various commercial and residential areas, including Hashtnagri, Bulbahar, Nishtarabad, Baragate, Defence Colony, Hazarkhwani, Bara Road, Saddar Bazaar, the Mall and Umeedabad, said they had noted gas suspension early morning, which forced them to send children to school without breakfast.
SNGPL insists gas restored, BRT workers damaged main pipelines
The residents of Hayatabad, Charsadda Road and some Ring Road areas complained that the gas supply was very low.
The prolonged gas suspension stressed out transporters and commuters as filling stations didn’t sell CNG because of it.
The gas supply remained unaffected in Ring Road areas and parts of Hayatabad, where motorists waited for CNG at filling stations in long queues.
Urban Transport Union president Khan Zaman Afridi said half of the passenger vehicles remained off the roads for being CNG-fuelled only as the CNG stations were closed due to the gas suspension.
The commuters complained the taxi drivers charged them exorbitantly taking advantage of the shortage of transport vehicles.
The LPG outlets also attracted large crowds of people, while the tandoorwallas (bread makers) used LPG or firewood to cater to the influx of visitors.
The SNGPL officials said the gas suspension had mostly affected the people in GT Road areas, interior city, entire Peshawar walled city, Gulbahar, Peshawar cantonment, Governor House, Corps Commander House, Khyber Road areas and along Ring Road.
SNGPL general manager Arbab Saqib told Dawn that he monitored the pipeline repairs, which were hampered by heavy rains.
He said the company’s technical staff began repairing the pipelines soon after getting the information about the damages but the bad weather delayed the exercise.
Mr Saqib regretted inconvenience caused to the consumers and claimed there was no shortage of gas.
He said such incidents occurred due to the work on the BRT project.
The official asked the people to use gas appliances with extra care.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018