ISLAMABAD - Deploring gas unavailability during the winter season in Balochistan, Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini has said that when the residents of gas producing province are not getting it, then people will remain with no other option but to stop the pipeline with gun. Gas is being produced in Balochistan, Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said during a meeting of the Senate standing committee on petroleum here Friday.

The Senate body, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz, was informed by Chairperson OGRA Uzma Adil that the regulator had set a deadline of October 2019 for oil marketing companies (OMCs) to upgrade their fleet for oil transportation and only five months are left to meet the deadline. After the deadline all non-compliant oil tankers will be grounded, she said.

The standing committee discussed the issues of queue system for oil tanker lorries in PSO oil depots and the preference to tankers lorries complaint to OGRA/NHA defined standards. The Committee’s earlier direction of making one queue for all compliant and non-compliant vehicles was also discussed.

Ogra working on increasing fine rates on various violations

Chairperson OGRA, Uzma Adil said that OGRA had set a deadline of October 2019 to upgrade their fleet for oil transportation and only five months are left to meet the deadline. After the deadline all non-compliant oil tankers to OGRA and NHA standards will be grounded, she said.

After the deadline, the OMCs will be responsible for accidents, in case of the involvement of non-complaint tankers, and resulted casualties or damages. She said that the OGRA is also working on increasing the fine rates on various violations. Chairman of the committee said that when all the other OMCs are modernizing their fleets why PSO is not doing it.

Senator Taj Afridi questioned that after the completion of white oil pipeline how many oil tankers will be required. The officials of the PSO informed that the even after the completion of pipeline oil tankers will be required for transportation of the commodity from depots to retail outlets. The Committee, after hearing the members, Pakistan State Oil, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and Oil Tankers Contractors Association, directed that there should be two queue system by PSO with compliant vehicles on one side while the non-compliant in the separate queue. The Committee noted that non-compliant vehicles means non-compliant whether they are of private contractors or of NLC and all should be treated equally. The Committee also directed that PSO should run the queue on the same system as the private companies and PSO should be given the right to run the queue.

Senator Kulsoom Perveen said that in winter no gas was provided to Balochistan. Officials of SNGPL informed that in winter because of pressure issue gas was not provided to the province. Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldin said that when the people of Balochistan will not get the gas they are producing the locals will have no other option but to stop the gas pipeline with guns. He said that despite producing sufficient gas the people of Balochistan are burning woods. Regarding the issue of supply of natural gas to Dara Adam Khel, sub-division Kohat, the Committee was told by Petroleum Division and SNGPL that there is a Peshawar High Court decision barring SNGPL to work on any other project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before working on gas project in Thal and adjoining areas. The Committee was assured that the funding for Thal project has been recommended by ECC and it will be ratified by the cabinet soon which will provide way for the project initiation in Dara Adam Khel.

The Committee was also given a briefing on the Public Sector Development Programme schemes of the Petroleum Division for the financial year 2019-20. The matter of removal from service of Fakhar Alam Khan, senior supervisor distribution record, Charsada was also discussed. The Committee was told that the person was found guilty of causing physical injury to a colleague through a number of departmental inquiries and the matter is currently subjudice.