Punjab will face the brunt of gas shortage during this winter season as the demand for gas demand will rise to an unprecedented level. This was stated by Managing Director of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) Arif Hameed while addressing a luncheon meeting of the All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association on Friday.
He said that gas supply to CNG stations would be limited to just four days a week while the gas supply to the industrial sector might also be curtailed for 3 days, instead of the current two days. He, however, said that efforts would be made to limit gas supply to the industry in consultation with leaders of the business community. Arif Hameed said that efforts were being made to buy gas from Iran, but the project’s completion would take at least two years. He, however, hinted that Pakistan could get gas from India within the next six months. If this happened, “we could restore gas supply to fertiliser factories and power plants”.
According to him, SNGPL was trying its level best to eliminate gas theft in the province, adding that the company had traced 7,000 cases of industrial, commercial and domestic gas thefts. According to him although the Company could not impose any penalty on elements involved in gas pilferage, it could charge 12 time the gas bill from pilferers. He said that the Company was considering installing a surveillance system in industrial units to curb pilferage.
Earlier, Group Leader/ Chairman APTMA Gohar Ejaz pointed out the successful efforts of the Association for uninterrupted power supply to industrial sector of Punjab and minimum possible gas outages for the province’s industrial sector. APTMA’s Regional Chairman Naveed Gulzar, President of Faisalabad Chamber of commerce and Industry Muzammal Sultan, Chairman of APTMA, Punjab, Ahsan Bashir, chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Rana Arif Tausif and upcoming chairman of APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan also spoke on this occasion. Syed Omer Nazar Shah, founder chairman of APTMA’s Faisalabad Region, said that the government should solve the energy crisis.
He also called for buying gas from India, besides demanding immediate withdrawal of the hike in gas price. Later, he presented a shield for Dr Asim Hussain, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum, through MD of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited. The advisor was scheduled to chair the meeting but could not reach the venue because of some unavoidable circumstances.