Construction of gas pipeline: Omer complains about Sindh government’s lack of cooperation

Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan has informed the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum on Monday that the federal government has written letters to the provincial government of Sindh eight times for construction of 125 km gas pipeline to meet gas deficit in winter.

The minister said that Sindh government did not give right of way for the construction of gas pipeline despite repeated requests from the federal government. He further said that Sindh government did not coordinate with the federal government in shutting down CNG plants in winter.

The Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum met under its Chairman Mohsin Aziz and discussed issues of allotment of land and installation of LPG Air Mix Plants at Noukandi, Dalbandin and Chaghi City.

The committee also discussed supply of gas to Sui Town as well as Tota Colony, Phong Colony and other allied areas of Sui town, and also discussed the gas load shedding issue at Sui Town area. The minister said that Sindh government did not give right of way for the construction of gas pipeline despite repeated request from the federal government. He further said that Sindh government did not coordinate with the federal government in shutting down CNG plants in winter.

Responding to Members Committee from Balochistan, he said that the proposed installation of LPG Air Mix Plants in Balochistan was in progress but it is yet to decide who would provide subsidy on gas. He further explained that the federal government is working on who would give four times high price of installation of Air Mix Plants in Balochistan.

The statement of minister irked the committee members from Balochistan who took a token walkout from the committee meeting. Earlier, members of the committee elected from Balochistan held a token boycott of the committee meeting over Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub’s statement on delay in installation of Air Mix Plants in distant areas of Balochistan.

Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that the people of Balochistan have been kept deprived of their own natural gas unlike other parts of the country. He said it is unfortunate that Balochistan is facing not only acute gas load shedding but also frequent power shortages.

He further argued that the federal government is working on estimate for provision of gas in Balochistan where the largest deposits of oil and gas are available. The officials of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) informed the committee that Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved installation of 35 Air Mix Plants in those areas where system gas was not available. The committee recommended provision of LPG Air Mix Plants to the province on fast track basis.

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