ISLAMABAD - Despite closure of CNG stations in twin cities during Sehr and Iftar timings, residents of the twin cities have been experiencing very low or zero gas pressure making it impossible for them to cook their food.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources reduced the timings of the CNG stations almost to the quarter, in the name of ensuring smooth supply to general consumers during sehr and iftar.

Now CNG stations are open for two days a week for the duration of 9 hours instead of previous 24 hours each day, but still there is no gas for general public.

"We were unable to prepare food for Sehri and some of us missed the fast while others had it without eating anything," Bushra, a resident of Dhok Kala Khan, told The Nation on Friday.

Most of the areas of Rawalpindi where Metro project is under construction are experiencing this gas unavailability problem.

The affected areas included Dhoke Kala Khan, Adiala Road, Defence Road, Mumtaz Market, Dhoke Lal Shah, Kalhoor, Ali Town, Munawar Colony, Hill View Lane, Wahdat Colony, Gulistan Colony, Shah Khalid Colony, Shah Faisal Colony, Janjua Town, Sanjoli Estate, Kehkashan Colony, Rah-e-Sakoon, Rukhshansa Masjid, Rehman Markaz, Dhoke Munshi, Rehmatabad, Gulshan-e-Abad, Kalyal, Shahpur, Dhamial, Ashraf Colony, Liaquat Colony, chakri Road, Dhoke Syedan, Morgah, Saddar, Mareer Chowk, Mareer Hassan, Dhoke Ratta, Dhoke Mangtal, Fauji Colony, Pirwadhai, Satellite Town, Saidpur Road, Shamasabad, Shakrial, Sadiqabad, aabpara, barakahu and G-06, G-10 and G-09 sectors.

The middle class somehow managed to get LPG cylinders after the gas shortage started but the citizens already living below the poverty line, remained without food.

"With the advent of Ramazan, the prices of food have doubled so that I cannot even think of buying a kilograme of mango for Rs 150. I cannot think of even buying a watermelon which is considered a fruit of the poor, as its price has jumped to plus Rs 30 per kg. Now it is only "Roti" which I can feed my family, but when there is no gas how will my wife cook?, Sagheer Bukhari, a resident of interior Shamasabad, said.

Sui Northern, Deputy Managing Director, Amjad Latif, while talking to The Nation said that his department was trying its utmost to supply gas during Sehr and iftar but they were facing problems where public was not cooperating. Domestic consumers have installed compressors, which suck gas and the pressure in the whole area goes down, he said, adding public use gas-fed generators, which also interfere gas supply to the whole area, resultantly, pressure goes down.

Analysts fear that failure of government to control daily commodity prices during Ramazan, and failure to provide electricity and natural gas as per promise could force citizens come to roads, a situation which may benefit the opposition political forces in coming days.