As most of the public transport runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), the city witnessed a standstill with scattered traffic seen on the roads and a huge number of office-goers waiting at bus stands.
The supply of CNG was halted after three gas pipelines were blown up by unidentified militants in Rahim Yar Khan on February 10. As a result, gas pressure around the country reduced, creating a shortage of 630 million cubic feet. The authorities have announced it will take at least two days to repair the pipes which are 24, 18 and 16 inches in diameter.
The vehicles that were available were charging double the normal fare on Tuesday, resulting in heated arguments between commuters and drivers. “We are charging more as we are using petrol instead of gas which is very expensive,” said Zafarullah Khan, a bus driver quarrelling with passengers on University Road.
“We can either park our vehicles at home or charge twice the amount to be able to afford petrol and diesel, but the passengers do not understand,” added the driver.
K-P CNG Association President Pervez Khattak informed they have been requested by the government to stop the gas supply for 24 hours. He added they have shut down all CNG stations in K-P to cope with the shortfall. Khattak added they will open all stations by Wednesday night.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2014.