SIALKOT: The villagers of Ballaanwala claim that they applied for gas connections several years ago with the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) regional office, but have yet to be entertained.

They added that local influentials were able to get their connections on priority due to their political connections. “We have been waiting for our turn to get gas connections for the last several years, but to no avail,” the villagers stated.

The lamented that most of the urban and rural areas of Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils lacked the gas facility or were severely hit by gas loadshedding or low gas pressure for domestic consumers. They said the SNGPL should not adopt double standards while issuing gas connections, as poor applicants had to wait for several years while the influentials got theirs within days.

The well-connected applicants even got their gas meters installed in their fields through political influence for ensuring smooth supply. The locals insisted that SNGPL officials considered fields as the best place for installing a gas meter instead of outside the applicant’s house.

Well-connected applicants get meters installed in fields for smooth supply

They urged the government to take notice of this injustice, saying there should be no discrimination in issuance of gas connections. They added that the SNGPL had installed the gas meters in fields illegally.

SNGPL officials concerned said that installation of gas meters in fields was illegal. However, they avoided commenting on whether any meters were installed in fields here. They also remained reluctant to mention the reason behind installation of meters in fields. The officials also did not respond to the question about applications pending for several years.

SHOT WHILE MAKING VIDEO: A teenager was killed when a pistol went off while he was making a video on a mobile app in Kharotta Syedaan on Sunday.

Friends Ammar Haider, Muslim and Zohaib – all aged between 14 and 17 years -- were making a video on TikTok in a room when a loaded pistol suddenly went off, killing Haider with a bullet in his stomach.

Muslim and Zohaib told police that first Haider recorded their video with the pistol, but when it was his turn he got shot and a bullet struck him in his belly. But, Haider’s family alleges that it was a pre-planned murder.

Kotli Loharaan police have arrested Muslim and Zohaib. Senior officials said police were investigating if it was an accident or a murder. Police have registered a case and further investigations were under way.

Police shifted the body to a local hospital for autopsy.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2019

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