After its failure to control gas theft which has swollen to more than 16 percent, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) on Tuesday started implementing a new plan under which new fast-running meters would be installed in posh areas, which would show more units as compared to actual gas consumption.

According to sources, these meters have been arranged, violating all the rules and procedures and the only quality of these low-quality cheap meters is that they show more units as compared to actual consumption.

As the first step, from 2,000 to 5,000 such meters have been despatched to every region and their installation has been started in posh and middle-class residential areas,” the sources said.

Usually, SNGPL replaces faulty meters or removes them under a scheduled maintenance, but it is just replacement. It is the first time that SNGPL has started installing special meters, targeting a segment of the society on the basis of income, it was learnt.

These meters are being installed in the areas where consumers have paying power. For example, 2,000 meters have been despatched to Bahawalpur region. In Bahawalpur, these new meters would be installed in Model Town, a posh locality of the small city in Southern Punjab, the sources said. Replacement of meters is in progress in Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and other regions. It is learnt that these new gadgets are being silently installed without consulting or informing the consumers.

The decision has been taken keeping in mind that the people from high-income groups would not come on streets and pay whatever amount of bills is issued to them,” the sources said, adding the localities having big houses of one kanal and above had been selected for this purpose.

According to the SNGPL officials, these meters are being installed on the verbal orders of SNGPL chief Arif Hameed. The MD of the state-owned gas company is already enjoying a lucrative job extension which was going to expire in September 2014.

The sources say Hameed has been tasked by the incumbent government to generate revenues in a subtle way so that no one could come on roads. To achieve the targets, he has come up with this unique idea of installing fast-running meters in posh areas. According to the plan, these meters would also be installed in other areas gradually.

It is learnt that on his undertaking to generate more revenues, the government has decided to give the MD one more extension in his job. It is pertinent to mention that SNGPL is already charging gas infrastructure development surcharge (GIDS) in violation of court orders, declaring it illegal.

The SNGPL officials, rejecting the allegations, said that more accurate meters were installed in the areas where more gas was being consumed.

The officials refused to say anything when asked if previous meters were not accurate and consumers were paying wrong bills. They also kept quiet when asked why only posh areas of every city were selected for the new meters.