ISLAMABAD   -   Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan has directed the SNGPL to launch a crackdown against illegal gas connections immediately.

Meanwhile, in a crackdown against the illegal gas connections, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has registered 66845 cases of theft involving an amount of Rs2.23 billion during 2018-19.

The high amount of theft was uncovered in industrial and domestic consumers categories where total of 65133 cases of illegal connections were registered which involved the theft of 1864 MMCF units and the amount involved was Rs 1.3 billion.

The revelation was made here during in high a level meeting in the Petroleum division. The meeting, which was chaired by Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, was informed that during July 2018 to February 2019, a total 66845 cases of gas theft were registered by SNGPL which was causing a loss of Rs 2.23 billion.

The meeting was informed that in industrial consumer category, 49 cases were registered with the booked volume of 736 MMCF (unit) and the amount involved was Rs.880.67 million.

Similarly, under domestic consumer category, 65,084 cases were registered, with booked volume of 1,128 units and with giving loss of Rs.412.39 million. Interestingly in non-consumer category, number of cases registered was 44, with the theft of 916.7 unit of gas volume. This class is giving a loss of Rs.740.97 million to the national exchequer.

Likewise, under the commercial consumer category, 1337 cases were registered, with booked volume of 75 units. It has reserved amount of Rs81.97m. Under Special Domestic Consumer category, 331 cases were recorded, with 36 units of volume. In this case, the amount booked is Rs.26.66m.

The individual companies involved in gas theft were Mian Petroleum CNG (Sheikhupura) that owes Rs.47.81 million to SNGPL, Gas Top CNG (Sheikhupura) which has to pay Rs. 5.83 million and Mughal Mechanical Works (Lahore) that has to pay Rs 31.89 million.

The petroleum minister expressed concerns over the gas pilferage and any possible mishap as a result of stealing gas from the main lines. He said the burden of losses in the gas system together with administrative negligence is being transferred to the consumers, which results in rise in gas prices.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while rejecting putting the burden of flaws in the system on the consumers, directed the authorities concerned to make every possible effort to control the losses. The current anti theft drive was started following the orders of PM Imran Khan.