MINGORA: Hundreds of angry protesters of different villages here on Friday took to the streets against Sui gas suspension for the past two months.

The residents of Gul Kada, Sharifabad, Khwaja Abad, Panr, Shahab Nagar and other villages came out and reached the Swat Press Club while chanting slogans against the SNGPL authorities and government.

They said that since start of winter the gas supply had been suspended to their areas, creating multiple problems for the residents.

“We don’t understand why SNGPL has suspended gas supply to our areas as supply to other areas is normal,” said Haji Iqbal, one of the protesters. They said that majority of residents of these areas could not afford burning wood and kerosene oil for cooking and other purposes.

“We have recorded our complaints with the elected representatives, district administration and SNGPL officials, but to no avail,” said Mohammad Riaz, an elder of Panr who was leading the protest.

They said that during winter the need for gas increased for cooking and heating purposes. “Our women now have to burn wood for cooking purpose. These days dry firewood is not available because of the rainy and snowy weather so it is very hard to make fire,” said Noor Khan, a resident of Khwaja Abad.

The residents said that the PTI leaders they had elected for resolving their issues had been ignoring them. “We have seen the ‘change’ of PTI government which plunged us into darkness,” said Ayaz Bacha, another protester.

The protesters warned that the gas supply should be resumed to their areas immediately otherwise they would set up a protest camp in Mingora. “If SNGPL did not resolve the issue till Monday all the residents of Gul Kada union council will come out and block the major roads. We will also set up a protest camp in Mingora which will continue until resolution of the issue,” they threatened.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2019