BHC Takes Action Against SSGC Over Unjustified Charges

SSGC claims 80% of meters tampered in Balochistan

Syed Ali Shah            Analysis 

Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has claimed that 80 % of gas meters have been tampered with in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. General Manager SSGC, Maddani Siddiqui while addressing an awareness session about right use of gas during winter season spoke at length about the financial losses of the company.

Undoubtedly, the SSGC gradually becoming another WAPDA and Pakistan Railway when it comes to financial losses. Gone are the days, when the company was ensuring proper supply to consumers and receiving timely accurate bills. It was an established perception that no corruption in gas bills in the past.

Are some elements within the company complicit in tampering meters ?

The revelation has to be taken serious by those who matter. The question arises that all these 80 % gas meters have been tampered by consumers alone. Or, some elements within the company’s technical staff remained complicit in this regard. Ground realities show, no consumer can tamper any gas meter without greasing the palm of the elements within the company.

Mr. Siddiqui also admitted that yes some elements within the SSGC were also involved in the tampering of gas meters inflicting huge financial losses to the national exchequer. First the company has to put its own house in order and then blame the consumers. Yes, the consumers have to pay gas bills and gas theft remains an open secret.

1,00,000 consumers do not pay bills: GM SSGC claims

Again common consumers cause minimum damages to the company rather it is the influential consumers who use excessive gas supply causing huge financial losses. Mr. Siddiqui also asserted that 1,00,000 out to a total 3,00,000 consumers don’t pay any gas bill at all. Some elements have fixed monthlies with mighty consumers and businessmen in Quetta city. Grease the palm of the meter reader and avoid paying gas bills.

The Balochistan High Court (BHC) passed a landmark order declaring the slow meter gas charges as illegal. This was against the article 25 of the Constitution, the court observed. In such a situation, the SSGC has to come hard on the elements within the company first and then the consumers who are not paying bills are tampering gas meters.

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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.