Gas, petrol protests begin


LAHORE – Gas pressure remained low while many areas of the city were without gas, prompting the residents to take the issue to the roads. There were also protests against fresh increase in petroleum prices on Saturday.
The protestors chanted slogans against the government for not providing gas and sharp increase in petroleum prices.
The protestors were holding banners and placards with slogans against the government and demanding a decrease in petroleum prices. The CNG stations also remained closed due to low pressure. In a protest against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), the residents of Shahdra came on the roads and blocked main GT Road against continuous gas outages.
The protestors said they were not getting the due gas pressure for the last two weeks. They said with intensified cold, SNGPL has completely failed to provide gas to domestic users and to industrial units. “We pay the utility bills in time but in return do not get gas even to prepare a cup of tea,” said a housewife Tayyaba Hamid adding that consumers should stop paying bills.
The protestors said they were buying woods and kerosene oil for preparing meals but the government did not like the idea of using kerosene oil and increased its price as well. “The government is least bothered about people’s problem and decided to increase price of kerosene oil by Rs 4.5 per litre,” another housewife Khadija Bibi said adding that a large number of people were using kerosene oil owing to gas shortage and the government should have waited one month before raising prices.
CNG stations were closed owing to non-availability of gas while in many areas the low pressure forced the stations to stop sales. “Gas is available only late at night, while the rest of day, we keep the station closed,” said a CNG station manager Kashif Hussain adding that around ten people working at CNG stations were also asked not to come.
WAPDA and electricity workers took out a protest rally from Bakhtiar Labour Hall. The protestors chanted slogans against the increase in petrol prices and demanded the government to take back its decision. They said the decision will play havoc with the lives of people, as everything will get expensive. They said electricity prices will further increase due to expensive oil prices.
Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Central Labour Union General Secretary Khurshid Ahmed led the procession. The protestors also held a rally at Laxmi Chowk. The labour leaders on the occasion criticised the government policies and said the poor management had created a lot of problems for the people.