Govt to provide natural gas to militancy hit areas: Abbasi

Arshad Ali
ISLAMABAD/FP: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi here Thursday assured the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government that the five union councils of Koh-e-Daman on the border of Dara Adam Khiel, FR Kohat and Peshawar will be specially treated and natural gas will be provided on exceptional basis. The minister said this while talking with the KP provincial Minister for Public Health Engineering, Information and PR Shah Farman who called on him at his chamber at the parliament house. He also assured that those having been provided gas connections on irregular basis will be provided gas meters on exceptional basis by-passing the turn out procedure. He pointed out that the area was so hard hit by militancy and terrorism that it had virtually become a no go area for the people while on the other hand the largest number of suicide and targeted attacks in the province took place there due to which it had been included in to FATA which making surveys for the rehabilitation.
On the other hand the area is the closed of the lower districts of KP to the sources of gas in Kohat and Karak due to which and also the sense of deprivation among the people of the area when the SNGPL authorities were lying a gas pipeline for Tarnab which had to pass through this area, the residents of the area resorted to protest demonstration, roads blockades and thus created a lot of law and order situation even in the provincial capital. It was, the KP Minister pointed out, there and then that the government, the SNGPL authorities and local administration entered into a written agreement copy of which was shown to the Federal Minister, that the people of the area will be provided gas from the said pipeline on priority basis.
The Federal Minister said that though PM has stopped giving funds to such development like giving gas supply but in this case he will ask the OGRA to make some special arrangement for gas supply to the said area.
Shah Farman also invited the attention of the Federal Minister towards the gas connections provided by the SNGPL authorities during the previous government and thus the said families have no gas meters in their house now. He said that each of these families had then properly deposited Rs.20,000/- for each connection. On this, Khaqan Abbasi assured that these people will be provided gas meters on priority basis.
With regard to inflated bills of electricity, Shah Farman asked the Federal Minister to direct WAPDA/PESCO authorities to first stop the supply of illegal electricity connections to big thieves like factory owners and transferring such burden to the domestic consumers.

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