The winter chill has descended on Pakistan a little early this year. Sweaters, heaters and hot drinks are in demand. Once more with the increasing use of gas heaters, gas pressure in the pipes have begin to drop and SNGPL has to resort to gas loadshedding to industries, CNG pumps and even commercial areas. The people take to the streets, burning tires and effigies of our leaders till the cold water rush from the Anti-riot police water cannon makes them rush back to home. This year the local CNG stations took advance precautions against SNGPL by taking a stay order from the Islamabad High Courts against any gas loadshedding. SNGPL has tried to contest this and I am sure in their defense they will use the same old story about high demand creating low pressure etc. I want to inform the public today that this is not the entire truth. There is no shortage of gas, just a big problem with the supply network. The Pakistan gas supply pipeline does not have enough volume capacity, therefore when all the connections are working at the same time, the pipelines are not capable of injecting enough volume of gas and we face a low pressure situation. To get rid of this problem there is a short term and a long term solution. The short term solution involves increasing the gas pressure in the pipelines, but this solution can damage the network infrastructure and allows gas leakage. The long term solution involves increasing the size of the supply pipelines or adding more pipelines. Another long term solution, used in many countries, involves adding gas storage tanks in different locations. These tanks are like water storage tanks, but they have a moving roof, that moves up when gas is being stored. These tanks store the gas during low peak hours, and then during high peak hours the location has enough volume of gas to supply ample supply to every home. In Pakistan the government and organizations like SNGPL have no long term direction for solving the gas crisis. And the government agencies are not capable of honestly completing such storage tanks in quick time. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the government authorities should plan to allow a small gas storage unit for households, that can be installed by individual citizens through Government licensed local manufacturers and installers. These unit would be used by the households in the winter season only and they would be able to store a small quantity of gas that will be used by the household. The storage unit will store gas during off peak hours and then during peak hours the stored gas would be used by the domestic consumers first, reducing the pressure on the national gas supply pipeline and thus reducing the gas loadshedding. The government would first have to find a safe design that can be locally manufactured. Then the government would have to form a regulating unit that will license, inspect and regulate manufacturers and installers of these units. This entire industry should be kept tax free for 10 years and exports banned, as it will cater to local demand. After that exports should be allowed and taxes levied. This solution will allow the private sector to create such units quickly. Allowing each individual person to install these units at their own (tax free) cost. This will also create new jobs and start a new business sector and an export industry in the future. ENGR. SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER, Peshawar, December 3.