KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday restrained the Sui Southern Gas Company from suspending the gas supply to the CNG filling stations in Sindh till Dec 29.
The All Pakistan CNG Stations Associations (Sindh and Balochistan Zones) challenged an SSGC notification dated Dec 14 through which it announced the suspension of gas supply to CNG filling stations for two days a week in the two provinces.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Salman Hamid stayed the implementation of the impugned notification and issued notices to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources, the SSGC, and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority for Dec 29.
According to the SSGC notification, the utility was facing a severe shortage of gas and in order to maintain its load management programme, it had decided that the gas supply to CNG stations would remain suspended for two days a week. The practice will be maintained till February 14.
Earlier, the SHC on June 18, 2010 had also restrained the government from carrying out a weekly closure of CNG stations across the province and ordered the authorities concerned to ensure an uninterrupted gas supply.
The petitioner association counsel submitted that the SSGC received its gas from fields in Sindh and Balochistan.
He submitted that Sindh was the only exporter of natural gas to all other provinces, as it produces about 71.7 per cent of the total natural gas in the country while it consumed a mere 35 per cent of its total production.
He stated that the CNG stations operating in Sindh and Balochistan were being discriminated against due to which huge losses were being suffered by the CNG station operators. Besides, citizens were also exposed to great hardships, he added.
The counsel prayed to the court to suspend the operation of the SSGC notification and declare the weekly suspension of gas to CNG stations in violation of the relevant laws and regulations.
The SHC division bench after a preliminary hearing issued notices to respondents for Dec 29 and stayed the implementation of the impugned notification.