Gas loadshedding: Court stays govt decision

The govt had issued a notification in August 2010 suspending gas supply to CNG stations two and a half-day a week.

Obaid Abbasi November 19, 2011


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday stayed the government decision of enforcing two and a half day loadshedding of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the federal capital till the next hearing.

The stay order was issued by Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan on a petition filed by owners of 47 CNG stations challenging the August year decision of the government describing it illegal and unconstitutional. The government had issued a notification in August 2010 suspending CNG supply to filing stations for three days a week.

The court also issued notices to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Ministry of Petroleum and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGPL).

Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel for the petitioners maintained that the federal capital should be treated a separate territory.

He maintained that the gas load management plan in Attock, Jhelum, Chakwal and Azad Kashmir were included with federal capital, despite the fact that it has low consumption of 10-15mm cubic feet per day.

“These areas come in the jurisdiction of Punjab, their gas consumption is higher than the federal capital, and they should be separated from the federal capital,” argued the senior lawyer.

Since the government has issued licences to the CNG stations, the authorities are responsible to provide them gas for 15 years without any break, he maintained.

Khan argued that gas availability capacity with thr SNGPL is around 1,800mmcfd while the fedeal capital’s CNG stations consume around 10-15mmcfd.

He contended that in the gas management plan a new priority list should be prepared giving CNG sector top priority.

After the court order, some CNG stations in the city began supplying gas. “I hope the court issues the order for the whole winter so that everyone can live with ease,” said Azmat Ali while refuelling his car at a station in Sector F-6.

“I was very happy to hear the court order as I was forced to leave my cab at home for days due to the gas loadshedding,” said Tariq Khan, a taxi driver filling up at a station in Aabpara.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2011.


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