RAWALPINDI – Protesters have taken to the streets of Rawalpindi over reduction in gas pressure available to ordinary homes.vThe problem has badly disturbed the routine life of citizens in the district with very high prices of alternative sources like wood, LPG and coals.

The gathering crowds, including women and children, have been agitating and blocking roads as they hold up banners against the government and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) for poor provision of gas during winter. A few days ago, scores of citizens including housewives and children staged a demonstration against gas load shedding at Murree Road and outside the SNGPL office on GT Road.

While holding utensils and bamboo sticks in their hands, the protestors bellowed slogans against the government and blocked the roads for vehicular movement. This put the commuters into huge trouble. The residents of Gulshanabad and Adiala Road are planning to hold a massive protest demo against low pressure of gas on Saturday.

Babar Khan, a resident of Dhama Syedan, said yesterday that the gas pressure plummeted in the morning and increased late night and we could not prepare food for us. He said that we were forced to purchase bread from bakeries. “The government should solve the issue of gas,” he demanded.

“The residents have been facing low gas pressure for over two months. Low gas pressure forcing the consumers to purchase LPG cylinders on high rates,” said Wasim Hussain, a labourer lived at Jorian.

The SNGPL officials claimed that supplies available could adequately meet the demand of the citizens as well as factories in the cold weather. But the residents rejected the claims of the SNGPL saying mismanagement and failure of the policymakers in Ministry of Petrolium and Natural Resources were the main cause behind the gas suspension.

Citizens are facing extreme low pressure of gas in the houses in the areas of Dhamial, Hayyal, Bank Colony, Mohra Faqeeran, Tower’s Street, Jorian, Gulshan-e-Saeed, Lalazar II, Rasoolabad, Iqbal Colony, Ashraf Colony, Chakri Road, Quaid e Azam Colony, Ahmedabad, Bakra Mandi, Dhoke Syedan, Girja Road, Baraf Khana, Chakra, Misrial Road, Peshawar Road, Shalley Valley, Pirwadhai, IJP Road, Badar Colony, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Dhoke Hassu, Commercial Market, Eid Gah, Asghar Mall Sceheme, Banni, Raja Bazaar, 6th Road, 7th Road, Rehmanabad, Committee Chowk, Chah Sultan, Naz Cinema, Sadiqabad, Shakrial, Muhammadi Colony, Fizahiya Colony, Missile Chowk, Airport, Shah Khalid Colony, Rehmatabad, Jhanda Cheechi, Katcheri, Civil Line, Morgah, Gulistan Colony, Dhoke Noor, Kotha Kallan, Dhoke Meeira, Gulshanabad, Adaila Road, Kalyal, Shahpur, Gorakhpur, Rehman Markaz, Landco, Rah e Sakoon, Kehkashan Colony, Jarahi, Munawar Colony, Hill View Lane, Ali Town, Chungi Number 20, Mubarak Lane, Caltax Road, Tulsa Village, Khatana Village, Dhoke Juma, Mumtaz Colony, Mumtaz Market and Dhama Syedan.

Uzma Bibi, a house wife hails from Tulsa Road, said that despite paying the hefty bill for gas, the residents had to spend extra on the purchase of woods, coals or LPG cylinders. She said that unavailability of gas had badly affected the routine life of people. 

An official of SNGPL said that the demand of gas had increased in the winter as people started using heaters and geysers. He said that in some areas people were using compressors to suck gas and this was causing low pressure in other areas. “SNGPL is not curtailing the supply for the domestic consumers as the government had directed suppliers not resort to gas load shedding for domestic users in winter,” he said.