President Arif Alvi has directed the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to revise the unjust bill of Rs44,526 charged to a consumer after his gas metre was damaged because of firing between two groups.
The president gave these directions while rejecting a representation filed by SNGPL against a decision of the Wafaqi Mohtasib, wherein SNGPL was found to have committed maladministration for charging an unjustified bill and metre costs from the complainant, according to a press release by President Secretariat Press Wing on Saturday.
President Alvi in his decision observed that the gas metre of the complainant got damaged as a result of firing between two groups and due to no fault of the consumer and that the complainant had filed an FIR with the police on account of the damage caused to his gas metre. He stated that it was a case of metre damage and not metre tampering and the report furnished by SNGPL did not reflect that the complainant was associated with the violation of the consumers’ gas contract agreement.
He further noted that SNGPL had replaced his gas metre after his formal request, but his metre was dispatched for flow proving to a local laboratory after a lapse of more than a month, whereas SNGPL was required to do so within five days as per the policy framed by OGRA. The president held that SNGPL had no basis to recover unregistered consumed gas charges and impose a penalty since it was the domain of a competent court of law.
Alvi further said that SNGPL can only charge for one year where the period of tampering is unknown, but in the present case the period of damage to the metre was well-determined – 20 days – till the date of replacement of the damaged metre.
President Alvi upheld the Mohtasib’s decision that SNGPL had billed the complainant in violation of law and the rules and procedures laid down by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), which amounted to maladministration. Therefore, SNGPL’s representation deserved to be rejected. He further directed the agency to report compliance to the Wafaqi Mohtasib within 30 days of his decision. A
Originally published at tribune.com.pk