SADIQABAD - A large number of transport workers, CNG dealers and employees staged a protest demonstration against partial closure and increase in CNG tariff, suspending vehicular movement for hours by setting fire to old tyres at Adda Khanpur, tehsil Rahim Yar Khan.

Talking to the media, the All Pakistan CNG Association office-bearers and filling stations owners pledged to continue protests until the government withdrew the recent increase in the CNG tariff and ended partial gas closure for the filling stations.

Earlier, APCNGA District President Chaudhry Waqar Sindhu while addressing the protesters termed the recent hike in the gas price the people’s economic murder which what he said would not be tolerated. He was of the view that after the increase, a flood of price hike would hit the country whereby making more difficult the life of the poverty-stricken masses.

Moreover, he said, because of unavailability of gas hundreds of workers were likely to lose employments. He warned that the protest demonstrations would continue until the government took back its decision of gas price hike. Afterwards, transport owners said that owing to gas price hike, transport fairs would also rise significantly, adding to the people’s miseries.

Before, the transporters, CNG stations’ owners and workers staged a protest sit-in on the National Highways obstructing traffic heading to different areas of Sindh and Punjab provinces and causing miles-long queues of clogged vehicles and people on both the roadsides.

Carrying placards and chanting anti-government slogans, the CNG association office-bearers condemned the partial gas closure for the stations while holding the government responsible for the unstable situation in the country. They said that because of incapable officialdoms, the gas crisis had worsened and due to their poor strategy, the CNG sector was faced with perils. Whereupon, they added, the station owners would suffer millions of rupees loss. They were of the view that if the government had acted upon the formula of fair and just distribution of gas across the country, the crisis would have been overcome.

On the other side, life remained crippled as most of the public transport remained off the roads, industrialists and CNG workers and owners took to the street and protested against gas loadshedding, CNG closure and price hike.

During a meeting with the APCNGA at Islamabad, Petroleum Secretary Ejaz Chaudhri had said: “There is no proposal for closure of CNG stations during January. However, CNG stations will remain closed as per the mutually agreed gas load management programme.”