The recent disconnection of 241 gas connections by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad has brought to light the prevalence of illegal acquisition and the need for strict adherence to existing norms and procedures. This situation reflects our affinity for defying laws without consequences, leading to inefficiencies within our systems.
The frequent disregard for legal norms and procedures is a significant concern. It not only undermines the integrity of our systems but also hampers the functioning of crucial sectors like gas. The gas sector is already burdened with crippling debt, and the need for exorbitant tariff hikes to recover losses is further exacerbating the issue. This creates an environment ripe for criminal activity, such as gas theft.
Though the public may face short-term burdens, it is essential to conform to the fiscal measures implemented to ensure a future free from desperation. A recent crackdown against electricity theft serves as an exemplary initiative that helped address a major cause of inefficiency in the power sector. Similarly, cracking down on gas theft is likely to yield positive results in making the gas sector more sustainable and efficient.
However, it is crucial to ensure that these measures are implemented with fairness and equality. While punishing those involved in gas theft is necessary, it is also important to focus on preventing such activities in the first place. SNGPL’s imposition of a hefty fine of Rs.2.7 million sends a strong message and should serve as a powerful deterrent for others. Stricter monitoring, accountability, and severe penalties for offenders are essential to curb illegal practices and maintain a level playing field for all.
The prevalence of defying procedures and laws must be addressed to secure our future and build economic stability. Sacrificing immediate wants and needs to adhere to legal norms is essential. The gas sector already faces numerous challenges, and without proper adherence to procedures, the situation will worsen. Protecting our energy future calls for a collective effort, including cooperation from the public, to overcome these challenges and foster a sustainable energy sector.