Despite promising domestic customers that their grievances regarding gas shortages have not fallen on deaf ears, there seems to be no management plan in place for uninterrupted supply. The Petroleum Division Secretary informed the National Assembly Standing Committee that given the depleting reservoirs of gas in the country, everyone in the country may face up to 16 hours of gas loadshedding. Pakistan very evidently and desperately needs to make the transition to the use of renewable energy, instead of perishable commodities like oil and gas.

With the winter season coming, the public will require a steady supply of gas for the purposes of heating and cooking, especially in far-flung areas that are more prone to extreme weather. Already, people were experiencing at least 12 hours of gas loadshedding but with reservoirs depleting further, loadshedding is expected to increase to 16 hours. This has caused immense backlash and has put extra pressure on the government to come up with alternative sources but the political situation in the world is less than ideal. Our import prospects from Iran are limited due to international sanctions, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused more hardships. Now, the authorities are scrambling to find different avenues from different countries but only time will tell whether these efforts will bear fruit.

In the meanwhile, the state must implement a nationwide resource management policy that aims on reducing the use and dependence on non-renewable energy sources like gas and fuel. Technology needs to be developed, accessible and must be relatively cheap to encourage more people to resort to electrical or solar-based heating. The government must also develop a culture of using greener technology through awareness campaigns but all of this will be worthless if we cannot ensure a steady supply of other utilities like electricity.

This is the time for us to alter our ways so that we can adapt to the changing environment and circumstances. Gas is not a reliable resource and the sooner we come to terms with this reality, the sooner we will redirect attention, resources and expertise towards developing alternatives.