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CNG: misery caused by indecision

December 19, 2012

THE problem of CNG is getting complicated with every passing day and at the moment no immediate solution is in sight. Governments around the globe make plans on a long-term basis. Unfortunately in Pakistan we do short-term planning. Every government is concerned about the impact a decision has on its regime and not on the country in the long run.

The CNG sector is one of its prime examples. The previous regime and also the current government in the early part of its tenure allowed this sector to flourish without realising that the country’s gas reserves are depleting fast and the country will face a serious gas crisis if usage of CNG  for vehicles continues.

The current government tries to halt the progress of the CNG sector and tries to transfer the available gas to other sectors. Price hike is the strategy the current government used to discourage CNG usage in vehicles, but this strategy did not materialise as people continue to use this fuel in their vehicles.

Nearly all public transport has shifted to CNG .The sector now faces two major issues: one, due to depleting reserves of gas its availability is a problem while CNG stations are facing two to three days of closure in a week to overcome the shortage. Secondly, substandard gas cylinders fitted in the public transport are also a grave issue. Already many cylinders used in buses and wagons have exploded in different parts of the country.

The Supreme Court tried to address the issues which have now become more complex after a huge reduction was made in CNG prices in October.

I request the government and the Supreme Court to settle this issue soon so that people can be saved from the misery of waiting in long queues. Standing in long queues is not  only a waste of valuable time but it is risky also. Already in  some parts of Karachi people waiting at gas stations for their  turn were looted by miscreants.

Recently the SSGC also changed the time of weekly closure to 12 midnight instead of 9am. Keeping Karachi’s law and order situation in mind, the late-night closure is not feasible and my advice to the gas company is that they revert to 9am closure.

I also humbly appeal to the Supreme Court to hear the case of CNG pricing on a daily basis and give their decision soon, in order to solve this issue permanently, as this matter is directly related to the survival of the common man in this city.