ISLAMABAD-Ministry of Petroleum is in a fix that whether it should fulfill CNG station owners’ demands or listen to general public.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, a subsidiary of Ministry of Petroleum, is presently supplying natural gas to CNG stations in Zone one and two, from 10am to 4 pm, which is eight hours a day.

Zone 1 comprises of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, Multan Gujranawala and Gujrat regions whereas Faisalabad, Sargodha, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur regions fall in zone 2.

It was learnt that on demand of CNG association this experimental curtailment plan was applied. Earlier CNG stations in zone one and two were opened for 72 hours continuously. CNG owners are happy that daily operations will help in reviving the industry but general public is not.

“Most of the residents of Islamabad are office employees; we attend office or queue for hours to get CNG”, Abid Hussain, a resident of Islamabad told TheNation. Fida Muhammad, a shopkeeper, said that it was impossible to get CNG due to long queues. “Hours you stand in line and when it is your turn, time is up”, he said.

“Old plan was good as we use to fill CNG after office timings, late night, but now only transporters can get CNG, not working people, Khalid Hussain, a resident of Rawalpindi said.

Not only residents of federal capital but residents of other cities are also facing problems due to this new plan.

It was learnt that in different parts of Punjab there is up to four hours of electricity loadshedding during 10 am to 4pm. The CNG stations are not running generators to save cost. Resultantly, public is stuck in queues for hours and when it is their turn time is up.

In most of the cities the public transport system does not exist and residents have no option but to use petrol.

“Petrol is very costly as compared to CNG. my kitchen budget is disturbed. Elected government should not be hijacked by CNG mafia”, Ghulam Rasool, a car owner said.

CNG association rejected these allegations. “Yes loadshedding is a hurdle, but this new plan is good as our stations are operational every day, and people are getting low cost fuel”, Ghayas Paracha, CNG association official told TheNation.

It was learnt that most of the CNG stations were employing staff on daily wages. It was difficult for them to get trained staff after three days closure, that’s why they are in favour of daily operations.

According to sources in Ministry of Water and Power, a delegation of CNG association met with Minister of State Abid Sher Ali, and requested a smooth supply of electricity during 10am to 4PM.

The minister told the delegation that it was difficult as most of the stations are in residential areas, sources said. Ministry of Petroleum sources said that this plan was till 14th of this month but due to pressure of association it is likely to continue.