KARACHI: Theft of natural gas is a crime that is negatively affecting SSGC’s financial bottom-line. This was stated by senior managers from SSGC at an awareness seminar called ‘Let’s wage a war against UFG’ held at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU), Tando Jam. The seminar, a brainchild of SSGC’s Corporate Communication Department was held in collaboration with the University to create awareness about the menace of Unaccounted for Gas (UFG) or line losses to the local communities including educational institutions. A large number of SAU students and faculty members participated in the seminar.
In his speech, Saeed Ahmed Larik, SSGC’s Senior General Manager, Distribution-North stressed that one of the main reasons for UFG is gas theft that constitutes 51% of the line losses. He said that pipeline leakages comprise 34% while metering and measurement errors make up 15%. Mr. Larik said that SSGC is waging an all-out war against UFG and is taking a number of on-ground measures to control the rising tide including bringing theft cases into legal net by regularly conducting raids against the culprits. The SSGC SGM said that Gas (Theft and Recovery) Act 2016 has helped in reining in gas thieves. He stressed that without the cooperation of the stakeholders such as common citizens, this goal of bringing down UFG and putting a stranglehold on it will remain an elusive dream. The SGM said that communities must report gas theft to the SSGC authorities the moment they see one.
In his speech, Salman A. Siddiqui, Dy. General Manager (Corporate Communications) stressed that SSGC has toughened its stance on gas theft in recent months especially after the formation of Counter Gas Theft Operations Department. The Department, he said, has been structured into a high precision unit and spurred on by the Gas (Theft and Recovery) Act 2016 which was passed by Pakistan’s National Assembly, conducts regular raids on domestic, commercial and industrial customers involved in many different types of gas theft. He informed the audience that since the formation of the Department in July 2017, more than 450 raids have taken place, a number of culprits have been sent behind bars and more than 60 FIRs have been lodged. As a result till February 2018, more than 600 mmcf of gas has been saved which in monetary terms amount to Rs. 457 million. These efforts against gas theft have been labeled by SSGC as ‘Operation Grift’, said the SSGC DGM.
Earlier, Dr. Ismail Kumbhar, Director, University Advancement, SAU thanked SSGC for collaborating with the University in this Awareness Drive and lauded the Company management and its executives for taking stakeholders such as the common citizens in confidence for waging a decisive war against the menace of UFG and theft of natural gas. SAU’s faculty presented mementoes to the visiting SSGC officials.