KOHAT: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited on Sunday allowed the residents of Lachi tehsil to use free gas, thus succumbing to their pressure that they won’t remove the illegal connections taken from the line supplying gas to the Hangu city and not pay the bills.
The people had long been sticking to the point that since the gas was discovered in Darmalak area they were entitled to use free gas. However, the authorities had been asking them to remove the illegal connections, install meters and pay a monthly-fixed bill.
The district administration and SNGPL officials had been engaged in negotiations with the joint ulema committee of the Darmalak union council following suspension of production by the people to protest low gas pressure.
The final round of negotiations broke down between the committee and the official team constituted by deputy commissioner Dr Azmatullah for resolution of the issue.
The official team was headed by additional deputy commissioner Shehryar Qamar with assistant commissioner, Lachi, Maleeha Sehar, executive engineer SNGPL Nasir Khan and other officials its members.
SNPGL XEN Nasir Khan said as laying a new pipeline to Hangu was not feasible as it cost billions of rupees, the people of Lachi were asked to voluntarily remove illegal connections and start paying bills, but they refused.
President of ulema committee Mufti Roohullah lamented that the administration and SNGPL were not taking any interest to resolve the issue of low gas pressure in the area.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023