Flanked by a heavy contingent of police, officials of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) disconnected gas connections to three newly-constructed colonies of the city on Tuesday.
SNGPL Assistant Engineer Naimatullah said the company had launched a crackdown in the capital and its outskirts against illegal connections.
Naimatullah said upon receiving intelligence information, he along with police officials raided Danyal Town, Feroz Baloch Colony, Malik Shah Colony and various areas of Charsadda Road, Dalazak Road and Dir Colony and disconnected hundreds of illegal connections.
“We disconnected a 15,000 feet-long illegal gas pipeline running through these areas. Hundreds of people had taken their gas connections from this pipeline,” said Naimatullah.
He added not only were illegal connections severed, hundreds of people were also charged with installing illegal connections in their homes. “These connections have cost SNGPL and the nation Rs190 million,” claimed Naimatullah.
The SNGPL official said they faced resistance from residents, but locals didn’t take any drastic steps because of the presence of police. He added the operation was launched with the cooperation of the federal and provincial government.
On the other hand, Ahmad Saeed, a resident of Malik Shah Colony, claimed the connections which the company was cutting off were installed by officials of SNGPL earlier. “I pay my bill every month. How can they say my connection is illegal?” he questioned.
Arsalan Khan, a resident of Dir Colony, said he had seen SNGPL officials installing gas pipelines earlier. “They took money from us to install our supply lines previously and now they are coming in our area to disconnect them,” he said.
The officials who took bribes have now been transferred and the company has decided to deprive us of gas in Ramazan, he lamented.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.