ISLAMABAD - Due to technical problem gas supply to the CNG stations in Punjab could not be restored as per schedule on Wednesday and now the gas supply is to resume from Saturday (today).

You can call it sheer negligence or non-professional behaviour that despite the arrival of the LNG cargo to Karachi port, last week, the gas supply to the CNG stations could not be started as scheduled. Consumers have been deprived of CNG for several months, a new experience in recent years.

It was announced earlier that the gas supply to the CNG stations of Punjab zone will be started on July 8th after 12 days interval. “Earlier we have been told that they will start supply of gas to the CNG stations in Punjab from July 8th but they didn’t,” CNG association president Ghayas Paracha told The Nation.

The CNG association has complained about this attitude of the SNGPL, to the minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources and asked him to streamline things on the port to avoid this situation in future. The gas company negligence is hurting our business and also annoying our customers, he said. He said that due to the nonpayment the arrival of LNG from Qatar was delayed till July 7th and now the gas is available but the CNG stations had to wait another four days, Paracha maintained.

He said that PSO and SNGPL are government companies and don’t care about the money matter but a small investors like the CNG owners are really upset by the delay in the gas supply . Meanwhile a statement issued by the CNG association said that CNG stations in Punjab would be reopened from tomorrow (July 11). It said that the CNG stations would be closed for one hour during Sahar timings and for two. hours for Iftar bringing timing of operations to 21 hours daily. After the holy month of Ramadan, CNG would be available for 24 hours a day during Eid holidays and afterwards providing relief to transporters and masses, he said.

The statement said that 2-day delay in reopening Punjab CNG was due to a technical glitch at the port.

When asked about the closer during the Sehr and Iftar, Ghyas Paracha said that we have been asked by the ministry to shut it down during these two timings. During Sehr and Iftar the gas consumption of the domestic consumers increases and the government doesn’t want to disturb their supply, he added.

CNG stations across Punjab were closed down on June 26 and it was announced to reopen after 12 days of break because of the payment issue. According the CNG association statement issued last month stated that after twenty days, CNG stations would be closed for 3-4 days and then it will be reopened again so that masses could get affordable fuel for 20 to 22 days a month.

Out the total 3,495 CNG stations in Pakistan 2,400 were located in Punjab zone but after intensification of gas crisis gas supply to CNG stations of Punjab was suspended in November 2014 but the supply was partially restored in early June this year under new rules. The restoration of gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab is made possible through the imported Re-gasified LNG (RLNG). According to new policy RLNG will be provided to those CNG stations that furnish additional deposits of Rs 1.2 million. So far only 800 stations out of the total 2400 stations located in Punjab region were reopened.