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ISLAMABAD: The gas supply to different parts of the country has been cut short by 15 hours, as now the consumers will receive gas only three times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as per the decision taken by the federal government on Sunday.

People living in both big cities and small towns of the country now have to be content with short gas supply, and to make the matter worse the weather is becoming chillier. Common man decries that there is gas load-shedding in winters, electricity outages in summers, and to rub salt into their wounds, firewood and LPG have also become costly.

With drop in temperatures, gas supply to Lahore and its adjoining areas has been reduced considerably. Gas is now being supplied for three hours in the morning; two-and-a-half hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening.

Inflation-hit citizens say that since they cannot afford food at restaurants, and have been now forced to buy gas cylinders to prepare meals. Sources in the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) have said that the demand in Lahore Region has exceeded 250 million cubic feet, while the department has been left with no option but to cut short the supply hours, considerably.

The sources further said that the demand has increased particularly after people have turned their geysers on following considerable dip in temperature. Same is the situation in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and their suburbs as there too the gas supply is not enough to meet the needs of domestic consumers.

People have demanded that authorities ensure an adequate gas supply. Many in the country’s largest city, Karachi, have been left with no option but to purchase firewood to prepare their meals. It gives the impression as if they are not living in a mega city but in a remote village.

On the other hand, the supply of gas to CNG stations in Sindh and Balochistan was suspended for a 24-hour period at 8AM on Sunday. The situation is no different in cities of Punjab. In Gujranwala, the price of firewood costing Rs700 per maund has gone up to Rs1000 per maund.

In Hafizabad too, consumers are suffering a lot because of gas load-shedding which has even reached 20 hours a day now. The circumstances have forced people to buy LPG cylinders and firewood. Residents of Narowal seem to be the worst sufferers, as the gas supply has come down in the city and its surrounding areas to four hours a day only.

This article was first pubished in Business Recorder on Nov 22, 2021