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‘Gas theft’: SNGPL cuts supply to mills

LAHORE, Dec 4: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited on Tuesday decided to disconnect supply to a textile mills in Faisalabad, owned by two local leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, for alleged gas theft and ordered a probe into the matter.

According to SNGPL officials, the mills – Masood Textile – is owned by PML-N MNA from Faisalabad Asim Nazir and his brother Shahid Nazir.

The utility officials said the mills management had been using a commercial gas connection obtained in the name of an adjacent bakery for industrial use during curtailment of gas to the industry.

Commercial consumers like the domestic ones have been exempted from gas load management.

“The practice (gas theft) has been going on for the last three years,” a senior SNGPL official in Lahore told this reporter, requesting anonymity because of involvement of “political element” in the matter.

He said the SNGPL had sent its staff over to cut gas connection for the bakery and the mills.

MNA Asim Nazir denied any wrongdoing on his part and claimed the reports about gas supply disconnection to his mills were just rumours.

The official said he was not aware of the “scope” of the fraud or theft and would be able to give details on Wednesday, and added both the brothers were using their “political clout” to keep the SNGPL from taking action against them.

“At the moment I can tell you that a lot of pressure is being put on us to hush up the matter,” he said.