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Suspension of gas supply to CNG stations causes transport crisis in Karachi

Updated December 13, 2018

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THE few public transport vehicles that did operate on Wednesday were filled way beyond capacity.—Online
THE few public transport vehicles that did operate on Wednesday were filled way beyond capacity.—Online

KARACHI: Karachiites suffered a serious transport crisis on Wednesday when a majority of the public transport vehicles stayed off the roads because of suspension of gas supply to CNG stations by the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

Owners of the public transport who brought their vehicles on roads despite the CNG closure charged hefty fares from the people who had no option but to pay.

Transporters said that it was almost impossible for most of them to bring their vehicles on the roads after the SSGC’s announcement on Tuesday that the situation was unlikely to change in the days to come.

“We didn’t ask any of our members to stay off the roads,” said Irshad Bukhari of the Karachi Transport Ittehad. “It was a self-explanatory situation for everyone doing business. It is almost impossible for transporters to bring their buses as more than 90 per cent of them have converted their fuel system to CNG.”

People had to pay more than double the actual fare to use public transport

He said that he could not say as to when the situation will become normal.

The SSGC had announced that it was stopping gas supply to the CNG sector and captive power plants for an indefinite period.

PTI slammed for gas loadshedding

Apart from transporters, the Sindh government had also reacted strongly against the SSGC’s move and called it a violation of the Constitution.

“The SSGC move is against Article 158-B of the Constitution,” said Sindh Transport Minister Syed Owais Qadir Shah in a statement. “The federal government has no right to suspend supply to CNG stations in Sindh which produced the largest quantity of gas.”

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2018