ISLAMABAD: Gas goes on winter vacation in December, pushing up the demand for coal and firewood in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. With the first cold breeze, consumers turn on geysers and heaters, however, they have to compete with the CNG sector and the fertiliser makers for their share in gas supply. In the end, the household and commercial users are left in the cold with no or very low gas pressure in the pipes. The problem starts from 6:00am to 11:00 am and in the evening from 6:00pm to 11:00pm due to which working class and students face problems in reaching their offices and schools on time. In such a situation, people are being forced to use coal and firewood for cooking and heating purposes. The eateries in particular have to keep the fire burning to cater to their customers. The spike in demand has also pushed up the price of coal and firewood.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2016.