Gas pressure drops as Balochistan remains in grip of cold
File Photo: Women protesters blocked Quetta-Karachi highway at Mastung against low gas pressure: Photo grabbed from a video on social media

Gas pressure drops as Balochistan remains in grip of cold

Editorial :

Gas pressure dropped as most parts of Balochistan remained in the grip of severe cold for the last more than a week. Temperatures in Quetta and various parts of central and northern Balochistan dropped to freezing point recently.

As the temperature dropped, the natural gas supply also disappeared in Quetta, Ziarat, Kalat, Mastung, Pishin, and other districts of the province. This compounded the problems of the masses in sub-zero temperature.

The metrological department has predicted that the freezing wave would continue in Quetta, northern and central Balochistan for the next few days. In this situation, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has failed to provide a gas supply to consumers.

Revival of traditional stoves in Quetta

Residents of Kalat, Mastung, Pishin, Ziarat, and people living in the outskirts of Quetta have started using traditional stoves as the gas supply suddenly disappears in the chilly weather. Citizens of Quetta had abandoned traditional stoves (Angheti) in the 1980s when gas supply was provided to the provincial capital.

The SSGC’s focus is to ensure the provision of gas supply to government officials, offices, and elite neighborhoods of the city. Marginalized and poor neighborhoods are completely ignored in the company’s plan.

80 percent gas meters tampered in Balochistan

A company official revealed that around 80 percent of gas meters have been tampered with. Gas meters tampered with the technical support of the company’s staff, he mentioned. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Injudicious gas supply has also complicated the supply to consumers in the city. Protests outside the SSGC’s office have become order of the day as the company has been sending slow meter charges to the consumers. This has irked the consumers. They complain that first the company should ensure proper supply then speak about the bills.

Some elements within the company have cemented ties with domestic and commercial consumers at the cost of common people. Grease the palm of officials and then get the bills cleared. This is talk of the town.

The SSGC, government of Balochistan should adopt a proper strategy to make sure provision of gas supply to consumers. There has to be also a strategy to bring an end to gas theft. First the SSGC’s officials and then consumers should be made accountable.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.