KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari has directed to resolve the issue of gas supply to industries in Punjab.

To this effect, Petroleum Adviser Dr Asim Hussain called on President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi and briefed him on the steps being taken to overcome gas shortage particularly in Punjab. The President also asked the Adviser to arrange a meeting with All Pakistan Textile Mills Association to discuss this issue.

The Adviser said tenders for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas will be floated next week. He hoped that LNG will start reaching Pakistan next month‚ which will help overcome gas shortage.

Punjab province is hard hit in the prevailing situation as the consumers in the province are deprived of this facility sometime in the name of gas load management and some time on the pretext of supply of gas to the industrial connections. Despite suspension of the CNG supply to industrial connections and public transport, the domestic consumers are undergoing a crisis-like situation as the low gas pressure has forced the housewives to switch off the gas burners for domestic use.

Meanwhile, Managing Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Arif Hameed Saturday announced suspension of gas supply to CNG stations for indefinite time.

The MD announced this during an interview to a private TV channel. He said at present it was not possible to supply gas to CNG stations and industries.

Gas demand of only domestic consumers has crossed 1510 mmcf, while the production is 1780 mmcf adding under such circumstances gas supply for commercial activities cannot be continued. Therefore, all the CNG station owners have been informed that gas supply will remain suspended for an indefinite time.

It is pertinent to mention here that several regions in Punjab have been facing unannounced CNG suspension for more than a week that has been causing severe difficulties to consumers.

The Potohar region along with Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been without CNG for the past eight days while Lahore is facing the closure for the ninth consecutive day.