RAWALPINDI: With the start of the winter season, supply of gas to domestic consumers has vanished in many parts of the city.

Soon after the rain on Monday, kitchen stoves went off in different localities creating problems for the residents.

Mostly people spent the cold day in search of alternatives to the natural gas such as coal, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders besides purchasing naan and roti from tandoor. However, the prices of LPG also increased to Rs170 per kg to Rs180 per kg and coal to Rs110 per kg.

The residents said Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned of a shortage of gas but the relevant ministries failed to tackle the issue. They said people would face more problems when the mercury would drop to zero degree next month.

They also criticised the local administration as the price of a naan escalated to Rs15 and roti to Rs12.

“Low pressure of gas in the winter and power loadshedding in the summer have become routine and the government failed to overcome the energy crises,” said Mohammad Anwar, a resident of Akalgarh.

Shahid Raja, of Chaudhry Bostan Khan Road, said low gas pressure created problems for the residents.

“The government has failed to take action against those who used compressors to suck gas from the supply lines,” he said.

There is rush on tandoors. “I had no option but to bring roti from a tandoor as we cannot cook it at home due to the low pressure of gas,” said Saleem Javed, a customer at PWD Housing Society.

Mohammad Ishaq, a resident of Dhoke Ratta, said there was zero pressure of gas from morning to late in the night and it forced him to bring coal and wood to make meal.

“Gas pressure in areas where ruling party leaders reside is better but the remaining areas are neglected. Kohati Bazaar, Shamsabad, Saidpur Road and College Road have no such issue as local leaders of the ruling party have arranged new supply lines,” said Anjum Hafeez, a resident of Naya Mohallah.

Jameel Ahmed, a resident of Peshawar Road, said the government has failed to improve gas supply for domestic consumers.

On the other hand, SNGPL officials blamed the gap between demand and supply for the low gas pressure.

The consumption increases in the winter as people use gas heaters, geysers and stoves from morning till night, they said.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

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