Burning issue

15

 

If the misery brought on by the severe weather was not enough, citizens of the country and those in Sindh in particular are now in the grip of a massive gas shortage, probably the likes of which we have never seen. Besides, overbilling is another issue that the whole country has been complaining about.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has written a letter to Prime Minister expressing serious concerns over extended load-shedding and crisis of gas in the province. The chief minister has highlighted that Sindh is the country’s largest gas producer but is still facing a crisis situation.

There seems no end to the sufferings of citizens in the near future as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is still struggling to cope with the economic crisis and other issues are being put on back burner. The PTI misled the nation with hollow slogans that it would overcome all the crises and put the country on the path to progress. So far no policy has been devised to avert the energy crisis. Not only gas, the load-shedding of electricity has also become a routine affair. There is a countrywide crisis going on and the people appointed to find out who is responsible for the problem are not performing their duty right. On the other hand, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has stated that influential oil mafia is pushing the country towards an artificial gas crisis hurting tens of millions of people. It adds to the list of failures of the incumbent government in tackling various challenges faced by the countrymen.

At a time when the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan is required to rectify the problem, he has just been presenting lame excuses to save his skin. Instead of focusing on better planning and finding new and affordable sources of gas supply, including the option of importing gas from neighbouring countries, the government has been slow and ill prepared as it has always been. It only responds when a crisis spins out of control. The problem of gas shortage has not been created overnight. It is the mandate of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to take measures on a war footing to provide relief to citizens who are becoming a victim of the government’s lethargic attitude and poor policies in tackling challenges. The situation is really grave and the government needs to plan on how to address the problem within the shortest possible time.