Patients, students freezing as gas sputters out

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LAHORE – Hospital patients are facing severe cold due to gas closure while school children are also in the same dilemma, exposing them to diseases such as flu and fever, Pakistan Today has learnt. Gas supply to city hospitals including Ittefaq, Jinnah, Mayo, Sir Ganga Ram, Services, Shalimar and Children’s Hospital remains suspended during the day while very low pressure persists during the night.
Patients said that they are exposed to severe cold, as neither gas nor electric heater work. They said that at least hospitals be exempted from gas load shedding so that patients could be given relief. Interestingly, patients admitted to private rooms were also helpless, as they had heaters but there was no gas available to run them.
“I am paying Rs 3,500 rent daily in a private room but could not light a heater due to gas closure,” said patient Salim Khan adding that he felt severe cold during the whole night and it was like living in a ‘cold-hell’.
“I was admitted due to a heart problem but owing to severe cold, I have been diagnosed with pneumonia as well,” said another patient Abdul Razzaq, admitted at the Jinnah Hospital. He said the disease got complicated only due to sever cold and if there was gas for lighting heaters, he would have been quite well. Attendants said that due to continuous electricity load shedding they could not use electric heaters.
“I tried to use an electric heater but due to load shedding all my efforts went in vain,” said attendant Habib Pasha adding that it was impossible to live in hospitals under such circumstances. Hospital administrations said that they are helpless, as the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has expressed inability to supply gas.
A senior Sir Ganga Ram Hospital official said that the SNGPL has admitted its failure in providing gas to hospitals. “We have asked them to provide gas , as our patients need of it but SNGPL officials have denied us any such facility,” the senior doctor said adding that it has become difficult to even run the hospital’s kitchen.
Hospital canteens have also increased prices of meals and tea owing to gas closure. Canteen administrations have to purchase alternate fuels such as LPG and kerosene oil for cooking meals while both commodities are also expensive.
“We are not getting gas therefore we are using LPG, which is more expensive than natural gas,” said canteen manager Sohail Akhtar. Schoolchildren also complained that heaters installed in their classrooms are not working due to gas closure.
Parents said that their children got flu due to severe cold in classrooms, as heaters are not working. “Neither electric nor gas heaters are working,” complained a student’s mother Faryal Ahmed adding that children could not learn anything under such harsh conditions.
I was admitted for a heart problem but owing to severe cold, I have been diagnosed with pneumonia as well
Neither electric nor gas heaters are working. Children could not learn anything under such harsh conditions