Gas supply to Pak PM Secretariat, Parliament lodges cut off

Gas supply to Pakistan PM`s Secretariat building has been cut off over unpaid bills worth Rs 4.7 million, just days after Nawaz Sharif ordered action against electricity and gas bill defaulters in the energy-starved country.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 28, 2014, 21:38 PM IST

Islamabad: Gas supply to Pakistan PM`s Secretariat building has been cut off over unpaid bills worth Rs 4.7 million, just days after Nawaz Sharif ordered serious action against electricity and gas bill defaulters in the energy-starved country.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has disconnected gas supply to Prime Minister`s Secretariat besides parliament lodges, convention centre and Federal Shariat Court among other government offices.

According to the SNGPL spokesperson, Parliament House has dues worth Rs 1.3 million, Parliament Lodges Rs 770,000, Federal Shariat Court Rs 224,000 and Governor House Rs 8.8 million.

All the defaulters had been sent notices several times but no response was received.

While some local reports said the gas connection to Prime Minister`s house was cut, sources told PTI that it was Prime Minister`s Secretariat.

Prime Minister Sharif had chaired a high-level meeting on April 23 regarding the overall electricity and gas distribution system where he had ordered strict action be taken against electricity pilferers and bill defaulters.

He had directed authorities to not even spare government installations and offices.

Some Pakistani cities are facing 10-12 hours of load shedding and the situation is expected to worsen with rising temperatures in June and July, sending demand for electricity soaring and leaving a shortfall of around 4,000 MW.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) today suspended the power supply to street lights and traffic signals across the capital city due to non-payment of dues.

The power company has suspended electricity to 17 public sector and semi-government departments, including the headquarters of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The Film Censor Board, office of the Anti-Narcotics Force, the Pakistan Public Works Department, the National Training Bureau, a government college and a cricket ground were also among the institutions whose power supply was suspended.

The IESCO had been sending notices to these departments for some time over non-payment of dues.

Sources said the 17 departments had to pay a total of Rs 3 billion to clear the dues.

The development came as Sharif chaired a meeting on electricity issues held in Prime Minister House today.
He was given a detailed briefing about electricity theft issues and performance of power distribution companies (DISCOS) in recoveries of dues.
Sharif directed Ministry of Water and Power to have zero tolerance towards theft of electricity and to speed up the recovery process. He was also briefed about the electricity load management plan.