People in large part of the country faced hardships due to outages of natural gas on the first day of the holy month of Ramazan on Thursday.
Worst-hit were the Karachiites despite the government claim of uninterrupted gas supply for sehar and iftar. There was no different situation in Rawalpindi and Quetta where consumers complained of low pressure and no gas throughout the day.
An official announcement from the Sui Southern (SSGC) gave timings for what it called “gas profiling” during Ramazan. Despite assurance for gas supply at sehr and iftar time, the company cited a shortfall in its system because of a yearly 8-9 percent decline in the country’s gas reserves.
“For this purpose, to ensure better gas pressure, gas profiling will continue from 8am to 2:30pm,” the statement added.
Residents of Lyari were furious at the shortage of gas at the beginning of the holy month as some complained that they have no gas for nearly four months now.
Some residents said a 2.5kg gas cylinder costs Rs600, which lasts for nearly two weeks. It becomes difficult for low wage earners to sustain additional cost of gas as inflation has risen to unprecedented highs.
An SSGC spokesperson denied that the company had resorted to load shedding anywhere in the country, but pointed out that certain areas may face low pressure, partly because around 20 million to 20.5 million stoves are turned on at the same time of sehri.