LAHORE - The Sui Northern Gas Pipe Line (SNGPL) has announced to increase gas supply to Lahore region to 190 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) from earlier supply of 160 mmcfd to fulfill the growing demand of consumers in winter season.

Addressing a press conference, SNGPL Lahore Region General Manager Qaisar Masood said that in view of increasing demand of the area 30 mmcfd gas has been added in the system. He said that low gas pressure complaints are less in this season as the situation has improved as compared to the last winter due to addition of RLNG in the system. He said, “Domestic consumers are our top priority and the supply may be disconnected to the CNG stations in the province for smooth supply of gas to the domestic consumers.”

Qaisar said that the SNGPL is also working to lay new gas pipelines in the areas where is low gas pressure due to tail end. “In this connection we are spending around Rs160 million to replace old lines, connecting them with mainlines,” he added.

The SNGPL GM admitted that there were several flaws in the gas distribution and supplying mechanism of SNGPL, saying that these flaws could be removed besides bringing betterment in this system with the mutual discussion and cooperation by the consumers as well. It is to be noted that gas pilferage is still a great challenge for the SNGPL, as the SNGPL’s internal accountability system was also being upgraded to nab the black sheep in this company.

The gas company has removed gas connections of almost 18,735 consumers in first three months of the calendar year on account of default of around Rs894.206 million. It is to be noted that Lahore is the biggest region of the SNGPL, with 18,500km distribution network, covering gas distribution in Lahore, Pattoki, Sheikhupura and Kasur.

The total number of consumers in Lahore region is 982,748 (domestic), 12,988 (commercial), 917 (industrial), 274 (RLNG) and 985 (special domestic). Lahore Region’s consumers are around 18 percent of the company’s total consumers (5.1 million).

Qaisar said that company removed almost 50 gas connections daily owing to non-payment of dues which are reconnected within two to three days period after payment of outstanding dues. “We try to delay connections for at least one month if removed due to theft or other violations as a punishment. Particularly we strictly discourage compressor users as they actually get the gas from the nearby connections that were illegal,” Lahore region chief said.

According to data, in Lahore region, the SNGPL removed more than 10,000 gas connections during the six months; from July 2016 to January 2017 due to non-payment of dues as well as violations. Data discloses that the company disconnected gas meters of around 1,300 consumers in six months over violations of rules and theft, including 700 disconnections for use of compressors, 158 disconnections over violation of contracts, 97 disconnections for direct use, 46 disconnections for unauthorised extension, 56 disconnections for direct bypass, 73 disconnections for fake meters and 169 disconnections for domestic to commercial use.