The residents of different areas of Rawalpindi held a protest demonstration on Friday against the suspension of gas supply. They blocked the busiest IJ Principal Road for an hour, creating a traffic snarl on the road.
Hundreds of baton-wielding protesters from Shamsabad, Saidpur, New Katarian, Khayaban-i-Sir Syed, Pindora, Satellite Town, and Rehmanabad assembled on the at around 4pm and blocked it for an hour.
The protesters chanted slogans against the government and the gas company for suspension of supply in their localities due to which they were unable to manage basic household chores. They said that gas supply to their localities have been cut since the start of the coldest month.
“How is it possible for one to survive without gas, my entire family is facing immense difficulties because of the gas shortage,” said Ajmal, a resident of Khayaban-i-Sir Syed.
The charged protesters threatened to block the road every day if gas supply to their areas was not restored soon.
“For the last two weeks, my entire family has to eat meals from outside,” said Jamil, a resident of Shamsabad.
Criticising the government he said, “It is shameless that in four years, the government has been unable to resolve energy crisis despite the fact that Pakistan has huge resources.”
Although the protest only lasted an hour, burning tyres and the traffic gridlock created meant that commuters were still stuck in traffic long after the protesters got home. Long queues of vehicles were seen on IJP Road and vehicles were later diverted to Murree Road, although commuters did not see much improvement.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.