Rs 20 mln gas being stolen in Karak daily: Sub-Committee informed

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 6 (APP): Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources Monday was informed that around Rs 20 million natural gas was being stolen in Karak, district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) on daily basis.
“Rs 20 million gas is being stolen daily from the Karak district and all this is happening in connivance with local administration and police,” Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the committee.
The concerned gas company, he said, whenever disconnected the illegal
gas connections, these were restored in supervision of the deputy commissioner and police.
Abbasi said, the ministry had taken up and discussed the matter with
KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in detail but it could not be resolved.
The committee meeting, chaired by Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hassani, expressed astonishment over the illegal activity and summoned KPK’s Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Inspector General of Police and Deputy Commissioner Karak in next meeting to explain the situation.
He assured the ministry that the committee would extend all possible
assistance in ending the gas theft, causing billions of rupees loss to national exchequer.
The sub-committee expressed displeasure over the absence of Pakistan
Petroleum Limited’s (PPL) Managing Director from the meeting and incomplete briefing on the last five-year performance of the company by the officials present.
It also observed that compensation amount was not being given to
land-affected people of Balochistan by oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies carrying out exploration activities in different parts of the province.
“Elected representatives of 10 union councils, out of total 13 in Kharan district, have complained in writing that the people are not being paid compensation amount on account of land acquisition by E&P companies,” Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hassani said.
He directed the companies to ensure compensation amount to land
owners, saying that all Balochs were patriotic Pakistanis and wanted to see the country developing and flourishing. “Rights of people of Balochistan must be given to them,” he added.
The committee convener floated the idea that E&P companies should
have the permission to hire locals as security guards in E&P areas for smooth functioning of the companies as it would also provide employment opportunities to the people of Balochistan.
Managing Director of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited
(OGDCL) Zahid Mir briefed the committee that the company had 25
exploration licences and five development and production leases in different areas of the province.
Currently, he said, four seismic parties were operating in Balochistan
to carry out surveys, adding that local MNAs, MPAs and deputy commissioners were taken on board before starting ground work in oil and gas exploration blocks, falling in their respective areas.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel and Baz Muhammad Khan, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Arshad Mirza, MD OGDCL, representatives of PPL and other senior officials of the ministry.