BHC Takes Action Against SSGC Over Unjustified Charges

Syed Kaleem Shah:

QUETTA: In a recent constitutional petition hearing, Justice Muhammad Kamran Khan Mulla Khail and Mr. Justice Shaukat Ali Rakhshani of the High Court addressed concerns raised by consumers against Sui Southern Gas Company. The case highlighted issues such as new charges in bills, inadequate gas pressure, and load shedding.

The petitioner, Syed Nazir Agha Advocate, presented a compelling argument, citing a previous court decision on illegal charges imposed by the company. The court had ruled against the removal of gas meters without consumer presence and emphasized fulfilling legal requirements.

Increased Burden of 8 to 9 Thousand Rupees Per Bill for Consumers

Despite court orders, the company continued its practices, prompting further legal action. The recent hearing, on a petition filed in 2022, focused on the addition of fixed and standard charges in November and December 2023 bills, resulting in an additional burden of 8 to 9 thousand rupees per bill for consumers.

During the proceedings, the court questioned the company’s financial claims, pointing out the high salaries and expensive vehicles used by its officers. The judges expressed concern over disproportionate billing, noting variations in charges between Karachi and Quetta consumers.

Unjust Charges for Balochistan’s Gas Consumers as Compared to those in Karachi and Islamabad

Syed Nazir Agha Advocate presented evidence of inflated bills in Balochistan, where consumers were charged significantly more than those in Karachi and Islamabad for similar gas consumption. The court urged an explanation from the company on this matter.

The judges hinted at a decision under Article 158 of the Constitution, emphasizing the need for justice. They also directed district authorities to promptly address road damage caused by gas pipeline installations in Quetta.

The court adjourned the hearing to December 21, 2023, indicating a forthcoming judgment on the case. With consumers eagerly awaiting the decision, the outcome could have far-reaching implications for the Sui Southern Gas Company and its billing practices.

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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.