Owners slam CNG stations closure in Abbottabad, Mansehra

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CNG Association and owners of the gas stations on Friday termed the closure of gas stations in Abbottabad, Mansehra and other districts of the province as contempt of court and decided to move the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and respective district administrations for closing the pumps till January 20.

CNG Association provincial president Fazal-e-Muqeem Khan said that they had challenged the order of various district administrations that banned the operation of the CNG stations.

He said the SNGPL had sought the support of various district administrations of KP for imposing Section 144 to ban the operation of CNG stations up to January 20 so that the domestic needs of Sui gas consumers could be met through proper curtailment of the CNG stations.

The office-bearer said the SNGPL Peshawar wrote to 10 deputy commissioners of Peshawar, Charsada. Nowshera, Kohat, Bannu, Hangu, Karak, Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra for support saying there was an acute shortage of gas due to a huge gap between supply.

He rejected the SNGPL assertion and said total production of the Northern area zone is 500 to 600 million cubic feet whereas total consumption is 350 million cubic feet.

Fazal-e- Muqeem said the SNGPL, knowing the clear judgments of the PHC adopted a new scheme to close CNG stations and involved deputy commissioners in enforcing Section 144 in their respective district.

According to the judgment, he said, the PHC had directed the SNGPL “to adhere to the decisions in letter and spirit in view of Article 158 of the constitution while dealing with the petitioners and all other stakeholders in the province”. He said the PHC Circuit Bench in Abbottabad had accepted the writ petition of the CNG Stations Association on February 28, last year and upheld the order of the PHC.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioners of Abbottabad and Mansehra in their separate orders on January 6 stated that the SNGPL was facing an acute shortage of gas due to a huge gap in supply and demand.

The SNGPL had requested to impose a complete ban on operations of CNG stations up to January 20, 2022 to fulfil the domestic gas demand.

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