KARACHI: The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has kicked-started a crackdown against gas theft under the provided law ‘The Gas Theft Control and Recovery Act, 2016’ and had owners of two factories arrested for allegedly using illegal connections as part of the campaign.
“The arrested factory owners were illegally utilising gas of around Rs1.5 million per month,” an official at the utility firm estimated.
He said that the firm has decided to intensify crackdown, including in the industrial zones, which comes under its jurisdiction.
“Whenever required, the SSGC raiding parties will also seek the assistance of Pakistan Rangers,” a press statement issued by the company added.
The utility firm accounts-in 7.5% line losses each year under the nameplate of Unaccounted for Gas, this limit is set by the government. Otherwise, actual losses due to the gas leakages is said to be much more than this (7.5%), which are worth hundreds of millions of rupees per year.
The statement revealed that SSGC’s Counter Gas Theft Team conducted a raid at a factory in Azizabad. “The owner of the factory, Sagheer, has been arrested by the SSGC dedicated Police Force and an FIR has been lodged against the offender,” it added.
The gas theft team conducted another raid on an ice factory in Sukkur. The owner of the factory, Zuhaib Ahmed Khairo, was using gas without passing it through the meter. An FIR has also been launched against the culprit and the gas supply line has been disconnected and gas claim has been raised against him.
SSGC has expressed its determination to uproot the menace of gas theft.
The Gas Theft Control and Recovery Act, 2016 passed by the National Assembly in 2016 and the recent establishment of gas theft utility courts have given the gas utilities the mandate to take an unprecedented legal action against them, it said.
According to the consolidated profit and loss accounts of SSGC, the utility firm’s losses soared three-fold to Rs2.33 billion in the single quarter ended September 30, 2015 from Rs768.38 million in the same quarter in 2014.
It is yet to report financial results for various quarters from October 2016 to June 2017.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2017.