A large number of transporters, owners and workers of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, and general public strongly protested against disconnection of gas supply here on Monday.
The angry protesters carrying banners and placards gathered at Kutcherry Chowk and blocked the roads from all sides for hours against disconnection of gas supply to the CNG stations.
On the other hand, transporters have given ultimatum of 48 hours to the government to open gas supply otherwise they would observe wheel-jam strike for an indefinite period in the twin cities.
A large contingent of police and other law enforcement agencies reached the spot to control situation. Traffic wardens seemed helpless in controlling the traffic because angry protesters did not even allow ambulances to cross the roads.
Speaking on the occasion Muttahida Transport Federation (MTF) President Malik Mehboob Awan said that the decision to shut down CNG stations was totally unjust. “We had a lot of hopes from the government to end crisis, therefore, we cast our votes in their favour, but present government seems completely helpless to address public grievances,” he added.
He said that how could they ply their vehicles when there was no gas and this was the reason majority of transporters had kept their buses, wagons and Suzuki off the roads. “If government did not review its decision within 48 hours, we would start wheel-jam strike in twin cities,” he warned.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Suzuki Union President Raja Muhammad Riaz strongly protested against disconnection of gas supply. He said that government has literally failed to provide gas to homes, transporters and factories. “Where is the gas going,” he asked.
All Pakistan CNG Association Supreme Council Chairman Ghayas Abdullah Piracha blamed the federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources for undermining CNG businesses to benefit petroleum dealers. He said that the conspiracy was hatched at the highest level to destroy the CNG industry by depriving the industry of the “only raw material” it had, and secondly also bringing CNG prices at par with petroleum products. “The CNG sector consumes just seven per cent of the gas produced in the country. Still it is frequently deprived of gas using the excuse of a countrywide shortage that is artificial,” he said.
He also said that CNG was an inexpensive and environment-friendly fuel. He said the government leaders made claims of providing relief to the people, yet several steps had been taken recently to cripple the CNG sector, he added. “Government is neither providing gas to domestic consumers nor to CNG sectors then where is the gas going,” he said.
The protesters alleged that an artificial shortage is being created to import LNG at higher price. This is a scam. It will unfold like the way, rental power plants scam did, they said.
Protest against gas supply cut to CNG stations - thenews.com.pk