File Photo: Protest Against Gas Load Shedding

Editorial :

The recent spate of gas-related explosions in Quetta has cast a dark shadow over the city, leaving behind shattered lives and a community grappling with grief. The incidents in Eastern Bypass, Nawan Kali, and Kuchlak have not only resulted in severe burn injuries to innocent individuals but have also exposed the pressing need for a comprehensive and immediate review of safety protocols surrounding gas infrastructure in the region.

Consumers Bore The Brunt Of SSGC Inefficiency

The most heart-wrenching episode unfolded near Quetta East Bypass Bhosa Mandi, where a house, torn apart by a gas explosion, became a tragic testament to the vulnerabilities faced by Quetta’s residents. A family, comprising a husband, wife, and five children, bore the brunt of the blast, suffering severe burns that have left them fighting for their lives in the burn ward of Civil Hospital in Quetta.

The incident in Kuchlak further adds to the distressing narrative, with four individuals from the same household falling victim to another gas explosion. The fact that such incidents occurred in separate localities raises grave concerns about the overall safety standards and practices in place.

Silent Menace Of Gas Leaks Pose A Serious Threat

Quetta, it seems, has become a city under siege, besieged not by external threats but by the silent menace of gas leaks. The frequency of such incidents has not only left the community in mourning but has also prompted questions about the efficacy of safety measures and the maintenance of gas infrastructure.

It is disheartening to note that Quetta has been no stranger to gas-related tragedies in recent times. Each incident not only inflicts physical harm on the victims but also scars the collective psyche of the community. The urgency of addressing the root causes of these explosions cannot be overstated, and the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the authorities.

SSGC Should Not Evade Accountability

The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), being the custodian of gas infrastructure, must not evade accountability in the face of such calamities. The lack of responsiveness from the company’s head office in Karachi to inquiries from Daily Quetta Voice is both perplexing and unacceptable. In times of crisis, transparency and communication become paramount, and the SSGC must step up to address the concerns and queries of the affected community.

One of the glaring issues highlighted in the aftermath of these incidents is the need for a structured schedule of gas load shedding. The prevailing chilly weather in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan exacerbates the situation, leading to prolonged and unannounced load shedding. The hide-and-seek of gas supply has become a dangerous game, and it is the innocent consumers who pay the price.

In this editorial, we call upon the Sui Southern Gas Company to take immediate and decisive action. The company must announce a clear schedule of gas load shedding, ensuring that consumers are aware of the timings and can plan accordingly. Moreover, there is an urgent need for the SSGC to engage in a proactive campaign to create awareness among consumers about gas safety measures.

SSGC Must Announce Schedule Of Gas Load Shedding

The safety of Quetta’s residents should be non-negotiable, and the SSGC must collaborate with local authorities to conduct thorough investigations into the recent incidents. Only through a transparent and accountable approach can the root causes be identified and rectified, preventing similar tragedies in the future.

As the injured continue their arduous journey towards recovery, the entire community watches and waits for tangible actions that will guarantee the safety and well-being of Quetta residents in their homes. The Sui Southern Gas Company must rise to the occasion and prove its commitment to the safety of the people it serves. The time for decisive action is now.

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About the Author

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.