Two gas theft cases were registered by Batala Colony police on Monday against 28 named and several unnamed men.
Earlier, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited officials disconnected supply to 1,100 houses in Nasir Nagar, Ghausia Colony and several other housing colonies.
An SNGPL spokesman said their investigation had revealed that the administrations of these private housing colonies were getting gas illegally. He said the administrations were charging the households for the gas but were not paying anything to the SNGPL. The residents had been told that the administrations were getting bulk supply from the SNGPL.
He said the raids were carried out in collaboration with the police.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents of these colonies staged a protest demonstration over disconnection of their gas supply. They said they had been paying for the supply of gas to their houses. They said the gas theft issue was between the SNGPL and the colonies’ administration. The residents, they said, should not be made to suffer for it.
Some of the protesters claimed that the crackdown had followed their refusal to pay bribes to some SNGPL officials. They said they were asked to pay kickbacks if they wanted gas supply to continue without any suspension.
“They have disconnected supply because we refused to bribe them,” said Ikramul Haq.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.