BALOCHISTAN is a resource-rich province and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country. But, sadly, it remains the most deprived province when it comes to the supply of natural gas.

It is unfortunate that in 1995, Balochistan produced almost 56 per cent of Pakistan’s total output of natural gas, but by 2017 its contribution dropped to 22.7pc, and the same year it consumed only 5.81pc of the country’s total output.

Currently, Balochistan, after Sindh, being the second-largest producer of gas in Pakistan, has much less consumption of natural gas along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On the other hand, Punjab, followed by Sindh, has the highest consumption of natural gas.

It is disheartening know that after 60 years only 14 towns out of 34 Balochistan districts have access to natural gas.

Even Sui town, which is only four miles from the gas field, where around 800mmscf natural gas is produced daily from 87 completed wells, itself does not have natural gas.

The non-availability of natural gas is creating myriad problems for the people. As a result, they chop down trees to meet their energy needs. This creates a negative impact on our ecosystem and increases deforestation.

Previous chief ministers made false promises and nothing was delivered. Balochistan should be provided natural gas according to its share.

Sher Jan Shohaz

Dasht

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019

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