Abrupt gas cuts disrupt routine life in city.

KARACHI -- The beginning of the winter season has brought unannounced and prolonged gas loadshedding in the entire city piling miseries on people, mainly students and office-going people.

Informed sources and residents of different areas told Dawn that the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) started loadshedding much ahead of the officially planned loadshedding, actually scheduled for December.

The federal government in early November had planned 16-hours gas loadshedding in December for domestic consumers, who would be supplied gas for three hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening.

However, almost every locality in the city has been facing very low pressure or no supply of gas during peak hours for the past several days and the gas utility's complaint service, 1199, kept on telling domestic consumers that they did not have any information about any scheduled or unscheduled loadshedding in any part of the city.

Loadshedding begins two weeks ahead of schedule

City Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who is also provincial government's spokesman, said that Sindh supplied around 60 per cent of gas to the federal government, but did not get its due share as per the relevant constitutional provision.

He said there was no gas loadshedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, while Sindh was faced with loadshedding despite the fact that it produced gas.

'The unannounced gas loadshedding is badly affecting the domestic consumers and as well as the industry in the city,' he added.

It may be noted that gas production from Sindh is between 2,700-3,000mmcfd while the SSGC was supplying less than 900mmcfd to the province.

Sources in the gas utility told Dawn that interruption in gas supply was affecting the areas like Lyari, Keamari and other tail-end areas in the SSGC network as there would be an estimated shortfall of 200-300mmcfd in the network during the upcoming winter.

Consumers condemned the SSGC for resorting to the unannounced loadshedding in the city and said that the natural gas had disappeared while the winters had not actually begun in the metropolis.

Zarqa Jabeen, a resident of Garden West, told Dawn that gas was being supplied for a too little time with an extremely low pressure making it difficult to cook food. 'There is no gas in the morning which...

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