KOHAT: The authorities have asked the gas consumers of Darmalak area in Lachi tehsil to pay a fixed bill of Rs1,000 per month instead of using the fuel through illegal connections.

The offer was made at meeting held here on Thursday between the district administration and representatives of Darmalak consumers. The consumers complained about low gas pressure. They were told first install meters and stop theft of gas through illegal underground pipelines that caused a monthly loss of Rs10 to Rs50 million to the exchequer.

The officials told the consumers that administration would no more succumb to their arm twisting tactics of refusing to administer anti-polio vaccine to children in the area.

However, the consumers conditioned payment of bills and installation of meters with provision of clean drinking water, construction of hospitals and roads and jobs in the oil company for locals.

The meeting was convened on the directives of Deputy Commissioner Dr Azamatullah Wazir. It was attended by the additional deputy commissioner, Sheharyar Qamar, the assistant commissioner, Maleeha Sehar, representatives of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL), Hungarian oil company MOL and residents of Darmalak.

The administration at last offered the consumers to pay a fixed bill of Rs1,000 per month as a last chance to avoid snapping of their illegal gas connections. The deadline of September 2 was set for them to accept the offer.

VISIT: The Kohat station commander, Brig Moinuddin on Thursday paid a visit to industrial estate and said that army was responsible for the safety of borders and it was also ready to play its role in improvement of economy, provision of jobs and other projects of national interest.

He was received by patron-in-chief of Kohat Chamber of Commerce and Industry Haji Rasheed, president Arshad Hayat, senior vice president Pir Kamran Shah, former president Asad Javed and others.

They informed the station commander that KCCI had no office of its own. They said that there were plenty of areas where investment could be made with hundred per cent success rate and investors were also available but absence of facilities and lack of coordination were big hurdles to it.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2023

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