1,000 protesters hit Karachi streets due to shortage of natural gas - GulfToday

1,000 protesters hit Karachi streets due to shortage of natural gas


Residents stage protest against the federal government over gas shortage outside Sui Gas Office Korangi Industrial Area in Karachi. Twitter photo

Gulf Today Report

The shortage of natural gas for domestic consumers in Karachi sparked multiple protests in the city on Friday, disrupting traffic flow and causing delays on major roads, Samaa TV reported.

Traffic police officials put the number of protesters between 800 and 1,000.

Pakistan faces an acute shortage of natural gas this winter. Several areas in Karachi have experienced load shedding due to this scarcity.

Dozens of residents of Mehmoodabad and Bazarta Lines staged a demonstration at the Main Korangi Road at the National Medical Centre and blocked vehicular traffic coming from Korangi to FTC.

Teams of law enforcement agencies tried to remove the protesters from the road, but they gathered at another location, the report said.

Karachi traffic police tweeted about the protest, reporting that the road between Kala Pul and FTC building had been closed for traffic because of public protest.
In another demonstration, residents from the Keamari area marched to the Jinnah Bridge and blocked vehicular traffic. The demonstration was led by Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Abdul Qadir Patel.

Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar has said that the government would not supply imported Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to domestic gas consumers, who pay lower rates, the report added.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Friday, the minister said that the government was importing 10 to 11 cargos of LNG to meet the demand, but since LNG prices have gone up in the international market, the imported gas cannot be supplied to domestic consumers.

The current government has increased natural gas price for commercial consumers and the CNG sector over three years. However, the rates for gas supplied to homes have registered a minimal increase, according to Indo-Asian News Service.

Azhar said Pakistan's domestic gas reserves were dropping 9 per cent per annum and it had become difficult to supply gas to domestic consumers.

The minister said the government was unable to provide cheaper natural gas to domestic users beyond a certain quantity.

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