As the winter sets in, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) comes into the limelight. Based on its track record, complaints regarding no gas pressure, and low gas pressure against the company are nothing new in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.
Currently, Quetta, Kalat, Ziarat, Pishin, Mastung and other parts of Balochistan are under the grip of dry cold weather. However, most of the residents of these areas are deprived of a gas supply. In Quetta, the SSGC officials manage to make sure the provision of gas supply to posh and VIP areas, whereas, the poor and the marginalized neighborhoods remain deprived of the facility.
However, the situation turns from bad to worst in Ziarat, Kalat, Mastung and Pishin when it comes to the gas supply in chilly weather. Residents of these districts complain that SSGC has crossed QESCO in terms of unannounced and prolonged load shedding.
Last year BHC declares ‘other charges’ null and void
Consumers also complain about receiving increasing bills from the SSGC every winter. Thanks to the Balochistan High Court (BHC), which declared the company’s ‘other charges’ in every bill a null and void last year.
Despite the court’s clear instructions, the consumers have been getting high bills. A well-placed source in the company told this daily that more than 80 percent of gas meters are tampered with/ faulty. Now the question arises, meters tampered with without the knowledge of the company, or some black sheep inside the company are complicit in this regard?
SSGC has to put its own house in order
The answer is simple, the company has to put its own house in order prior to take action against the consumers stealing gas.
In this whole situation, when this daily tried to take an official version of the company. We were simply told the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the company is based in Karachi. Gas was explored from Balochistan’s Sui tehsil of Dera Bugti in 1952. Industries and factories developed through the same supply over decades.
Balochistan is yet to get the position of PRO in the company. This step-motherly treatment of Balochistan must be stopped and consumers in this part of the country should be treated like consumers elsewhere.