CNG closed for Four Months in Punjab

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As winter approached, gas shortage is on its peak. Either its domestic consumers, Industry, CNG sector or any other kind of consumers, everyone is feeling the shortage once again in year 2014 despite the government’s vows of importing the LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) in December 2014 which now have been delayed till after March 2014 according to PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) administration.

With LNG import delayed, government have resorted to closing supply of CNG to Punjab as a measure to deal with gas shortage. So according to decision, announced through SNGPL (Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited), Punjab will be deprived to CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) for four months, starting from 15 Nov, 2014 to 15 March 2015. CNG is used by masses in Punjab and rest of Pakistan as alternative fuel in their vehicles and practically this fuel is 2.5 to 3 times cheaper than the available Gasoline fuel which is referred mostly as petrol here in Pakistan.

Long CNG Vehicles Queue before CNG Closed for Four months as Part of CNG Load Shedding or CNG Load Management Plan
Long CNG Vehicles Queues before CNG Closed for Four months as Part of CNG Load Shedding or CNG Load Management Plan

Since, government have not taken any measures to import the gas on time, closing CNG is only logical decision at time to ease things up for domestic consumers. However, to ease things for transporters, government have option to do lots, but PML-N led government does not seem in mood. As we all know, on petrol in addition to 17% GST (General Sales Tax), government is also taking about Rs. 20 in terms of other taxes like petroleum development levy and other such taxes.

If they don’t want to cut out the GST, its perfectly good, but they must cut the levy or any other taxes to ease things for transporters and other consumers of Gasoline or petrol. Same must be done with Diesel, kerosene oil and other petroleum products. But seems like our current Nawaz led Government is in no mood to give relief to people of Pakistan.

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CNG Stations to remain open on five days of Eid al-Adha 2014 all over Pakistan

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CNG Filling StationGovernment of Pakistan have announced that there will be no CNG load shedding on Eid al-Adha 2014, so people can move to their hometowns and back easily using the cheap alternate fuel. The Gasoline or Petrol is normally unaffordable in Pakistan due to above 40% taxes on it. Specially on such occasions when l0ng journeys back to hometowns have to be made by masses, their first preference will be low cost fuel like CNG, which by the way is only low cost fuel available to masses in Pakistan.

CNG stations already opened on Friday the 3rd of October 2o14 and will remain open till the end of Eid Holidays which is Thursday, 9th of October, 2014. Punjab is the province in which CNG load shedding is most severe, only two days a week CNG is available to Pakistani people. But now after this announcement People of Punjab including the Potohar Region will also enjoy almost one week of CNG availability.

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CNG Load Shedding Continues and Vehicle Queues Get Longer Than Ever

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Long queues at CNG filling stations
CNG queue at a CNG filling station on Kashmir Highway Islamabad on 1st Sep, 2014

Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PMLN) had made many promises with people before coming into power. Main agenda was to make stuff affordable for people. But exactly like everything else the situation of CNG gone worse and year by year things going even worst. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is cheap fuel for vehicles in Pakistan and people prefer it over Gasoline or Petrol for reason it saves more than 60% money for same amount of travel on Petrol.

In era of previous two government CNG Load Management Plans (CNG Load Shedding) were introduced to deal with CNG shortages and meanwhile steps were being taken to import Natural Gas. One of such step was initiation of Pakistan Iran gas pipeline which was started in era of previous Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in power. But now project faces a total halt.

In result of total halt of current Natural Gas import projects by current PMLN government country is once again facing real bad shortage of Natural Gas. In result now vehicle owners specially in Punjab get CNG only two days in a week and that is the situation of summer. In winter due to domestic water and room heating requirement gas shortages multiply exponentially and its closed for vehicle owners and only is given to house holds and that too can’t fulfill the requirement of house holds in those days.

Unlike era of couple of previous governments now people can only get CNG fuel two days, in result on those two days queues of vehicles at filling stations are too long. These queues range from 80 to many hundreds of vehicles waiting for their turn.

The CNG opening schedule for Potohar Region, which includes cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Taxila, Wah, Chakwal, Jhelum attock and adjustment areas, is as follows.

Opens: Two non-consecutive days (Total 48 hours) in a week

Day 1: Monday 6 am to Tuesday 6 am (24 Hours)

Day 2: Thursday 6 am to Friday 6 am (24 Hours)

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Schedule for CNG Load Shedding in Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Rest of Potohar region after Eid Al-Fitr 2014

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long queue at a CNG Station in PakistanThis past month Eid days were nothing less than the cool breeze during hot summer for Transporters and Motorists of Punjab as CNG was open on all 5 days of eid, so lots of people had got chance to fill there vehicles with cheap CNG fuel after as long as four months. Before Eid Al-Fitr 2014, during ramadan CNG filling stations were only opening two days in a week, even on those two days it was opening for only 9 hours in a week.. Plus those two days were not consecutive. There was same situation before that specially in province of Punjab, Pakistan. Some transporters still managed to get in lines for long hours and get CNG but for most of private car owners, specially working class, it was just not possible.

Now the Eid days are over, so the fun, again as per government implemented schedule CNG will open on only 2 days of week. Even these 2 days are not consecutive, so people will have to be in long queues. Following is the Schedule of CNG opening days per week in Potohar region of Punjab Pakistan.

  • Opening Days: 2
  • Day 1 ( Monday 6 am to Tuesday 6 am ) – 24 Hours.
  • Day 2 (Thursday 6 am to Friday 6 am ) – 24 Hours.
  • Total 48 hours in a week

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No CNG Load Shedding on Eid Days in Punjab

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No CNG Load Shedding on Eid DaysPunjab govt have announced no CNG Load Shedding on days of Eid al-Fitr 2014. CNG will remain continuously open from 6 am Monday 28 july to 6 am Friday 2 July. According to Punjab government this special schedule for CNG load shedding on eid days is devised to facilitate people traveling to their hometowns inside Pakistan.

Let me remind you, in Ramadan CNG was only available for 18 hours in whole week, it was Monday and Thursday, from 6 am to 3 pm on both days. So due to this very short window of CNG opening for people of Punjab, majority of people didn’t even bothered getting the Gas during Ramadan.

It is also most likely that same 18 hours a week schedule will be back in action as soon as we get past days of Eid al-Fitr. Now the question which needs some attention to and which needs to be answered is, if Pakistan really have severe shortage of Natural Gas, how on earth govt will manage to give non-stop CNG on five days of eid? Also, keep in mind that these are days when traveling of people is peak and every available wheel is country is turning.

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