Murad threatens to cut off gas supply from Sindh

| Warns of storming SSGCL offices if distribution concerns not addressed by weekend

KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who is known for his dovish attitude, issued a serious threat to the federal government on the issue of gas distribution.

Speaking on the floor of Sindh Assembly on Thursday, he warned that if their concerns over gas distribution are not addressed by the end of the week, his government will cut off gas supply from Sindh to the rest of the country.

A visibly stressed Murad Ali Shah also threatened that if the SSGCL (Sui Southern Gas Company Limited) did not seriously considered Sindh’s concerns then provincial government would forcefully take over their offices.

Giving a policy statement in the house in response to a point of order raised by PPP member Ghulam Qadir Chandio on gas issue, the CM warned if SSGCL failed to provide required quantity of 100mg gas to Nooriabad power plant then his government will take these extreme measures.

Murad’s warning comes weeks after he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif alleging that Punjab was usurping the share of gas allocated to Sindh.

Mr Shah said he talked with the SSGCL chairman yesterday (Wednesday) and told him to look into the gas distribution agreement; otherwise, the Sindh government will take the extreme action. He said SSGCL managing director rang him and talked about gas supply at certain conditions, “which were not acceptable to us”.

The CM said that he has directed the energy department that if the federal government and SSGCL won’t accept the demands of Sindh then action will be taken after seeking support from the treasury and opposition benches.

He said Sindh produces 70 percent gas of the total production but unfortunately it was not getting its due share of gas supply in accordance with the constitution.

PPP lawmaker Ghulam Qadir Chandio drew the attention of the house towards 16 to 18 hours long power loadshedding in interior Sindh in the prevailing hot conditions.

Murad Ali informed the house that the federal government has not yet provided the promised 100 megawatts to the K-Electric. “The power utility had to put the 100mg online by April,” he added.

Syed Sardar Ahmed of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan), the main opposition party in Sindh Assembly, extended his party’s fully support to the chief minister on the gas and electricity issues.

However, another MQM member Muhammad Hussain termed such issues being raised in the house as election related and advised the chief minister to hold meeting the prime minister on the matter.

The house which was called in order by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at 11:42am against the scheduled time of 10am, discussed the reports on budget execution during first two quarters of the ongoing financial year.

Earlier, Sindh Minister for Public Health Engineering Fayyaz Ali Butt, while replying to a question asked by PML-F member Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, informed the house that extension and rehabilitation of Kunb city drainage scheme was approved by Sindh government during 2010. Its estimated cost is Rs94.930 million and it will be completed in June 2012, he added.

He said the scheme was put to test operation and the results were satisfactory. It was then handed over to TMA Kotdiji in September 2012, he added.

Nusrat Sehar Abbasi had asked about a drainage scheme started nine months ago at Kunb city of Kotdigi.

MQM member Kamran Akhtar asked the minister to provide details regarding grade-wise number of appointment made in Public Health Engineering department during 2016-17 alongwith procedure adopted for recruitment.

The minister said only one person namely Muhammad Akram S/O Late Muhammad Aslam was appointed as Chowkidar (BPS-01) in Public Health Engineering Department, Hyderabad region during 2016-17 against deceased quota as per summary approved by the chief minister.

After completion of agenda the house was adjourned until Friday.


 Online adds: Reacting to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’s warning of taking over the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) offices if gas was not provided to the province, the SSGC has said that it cannot comment on the distribution of natural gas under Article 158, as it doesn’t come under its domain.

“With regards to not supplying gas to a power plant, it may be noted that SSGC is ready to supply gas to the power plant referred to by the CM in his speech, provided the management of the plant submits the admissible security deposit of Rs1 billion.

As soon as the deposit is submitted, SSGC will connect the plant as the necessary infrastructure in this regard has already been completed which is in the knowledge of the plant’s management,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Furthermore, the Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) between SSGC and the management of power plant has already been signed, however, there were few amendments requested by the management of the power plant which have been approved by SSGC’s board of directors and needs to be incorporated in the GSA with mutual consent, it added.




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