RAWALPINDI: Residents in affluent areas, as well as expensive hotel and restaurant chains, are reportedly enjoying consistent gas pressure.
However, in the poorer localities of the city and cantonment board areas, residents are facing persistent low to zero gas pressure.
This disparity is attributed to an alleged corrupt nexus within the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), engaging in clandestine dealings with affluent individuals to ensure uninterrupted gas supply during the winter season.
Many areas of Rawalpindi are experiencing a complete absence of natural gas, yet the relevant authorities and caretaker cabinet appear indifferent to the unfolding crisis.
It appears as if the residents of the twin cities are regressing to a time reminiscent of the stone age, resorting to various methods to sustain their kitchen activities.
Despite being responsible for the Rawalpindi area, the corrupt officers of SNGPL have failed to provide natural gas as per the scheduled times.
Consequently, numerous families have resorted to acquiring perilous alternatives such as ‘Gas Sucking Compressors,’ mobil oil stoves, electricity stoves, and LPG cylinders, posing a significant risk to human life.
Exploiting the situation, business entities are introducing various stoves to the market, taking advantage of the scarcity and profiting at the expense of innocent citizens.
According to The News, the supply of natural gas has dwindled in over 80 per cent of the city and cantonment board areas during the winter, yet the gravity of the issue remains unacknowledged.
Muhammad Kawish, Executive Engineer (Pressure) at SNGPL, contends that they are supplying gas at full pressure during scheduled times.
However, a significant number of consumers using ‘Gas Sucking Compressors’ are allegedly causing deprivation of gas to others.
He issued a warning, stating that a crackdown against such compressors has been initiated to ensure equitable distribution of natural gas.
A resident of Shah Residency near Gulistan Colony in Rawalpindi informed Hum News that they have reduced their reliance on Sui gas. Instead, they have opted for an LPG cylinder and a specially designed stove, as conventional stoves proved incompatible with LPG cylinders.
Some residents disclosed resorting to purchasing both an electric stove and an LPG cylinder.
The most severely affected areas include Adiala Road, Jhanda Chichi, Gulistan Colony, Morgah, Defence Road, Munawar Colony, Dhoke Juma, New Lalazar, Dhoke Mangtal, Adra, Bakra Mandi, Dhoke Syedan, Girja, Misriyal, Chah Sultan, Jamia Masjid Road, Lalkurti, Tench Bhatta, Jan Colony, Shah Khalid, Shah Faisal, Arya Mohallah, Chamanzaar, Nadeem Colony Sadiqabad, Muslim Town, Dhoke Paracha, and several other areas where gas stoves are rendered completely non-functional.
In the affected localities, residents are compelled to purchase three meals a day at exorbitant rates from hotels.
Others are left wandering in search of alternative sources of heat, such as dry wood, kerosene oil, coal, and expensive LPG.