ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday restrained Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) from severing utility connections of traders and restaurant owners of the twin cities.

IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the petition filed by Islamabad’s traders and All Rawalpindi Restaurants Association against the decision of the government on “forced conversion” of their utility connections on Re-gasified Liquid Natural Gas (RLNG).

Through the petition, the petitioners have challenged the disconnection of gas connections issued by SNGPL.

Counsel for the petitioners, contended that SNGPL has no right to disconnect gas connections which is a basic need for their businesses.

It was further contended that SNGPL authority has issued notices dated Oct 25, 2022 regarding disconnection of gas connections in the coming winter season for alternate supply of the Re-Gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) which is more costly than the aforesaid gas tariff rate.

The petition said that the issue involved here is the unilateral imposition of new commercial consumer contract, the RLNG contract and the decision of the company authorities to disconnect the supply of gas at the premises on failure of signing of the proposed new contract.

The petitioners have further been directed to execute the contract within just two days.

The petitioners requested the court to set aside the SNGPL’s directives and has urged the court to restrain SNGPL till disposal of the petition.

Justice Kayani has sought a reply from SNGPL saying: “Gas supply is already available to the petitioners at their restaurants and it shall not be disconnected till the next date of hearing.”

Further hearing has been adjourned till Nov 10.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2022

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