Karachi gas crisis: Consumers adopt ‘illegal’ way to maintain pressure

Consumers adopt novel

Amid a deepening gas crisis in the metropolis, people have lately resorted to an illegal way to spike the pressure in their stoves.

Running on electricity, the air pump acts as a helpful suction gadget and improves gas pressure. 

It is pertinent to mention that it is illegal to install such a device as using a suction pump from the mainline can decrease other people’s gas supply.

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These pumps can be installed in the supply line just before the domestic stoves, heaters or gas-run generators. But using an external device to suck gas or water deprives others of the utility. Therefore its use is illegal. However, it is not easy to stop its sale or ban its use.

Earlier, a pump used to cost between Rs1,200 to Rs1,500. However, it is now available for Rs2,500 to Rs3,500 because of demand.

People have been buying it for years and using it as an aquarium bubbler for fish tanks. It is a multipurpose device and is also a key component in medical respirators. Its size is much smaller and does the same work as a water suction pump. People attach water suction pumps to their main water supply lines to steal others’ water. When the gas pressure drops to zero, the pump will automatically become inactive.

While some worry about whether it is dangerous or can lead to an explosion, others use it without any concern.

The device runs on 220 volts AC house current and has popular models available in the markets.

Experts say that the gas authorities have to find a way to check this illegal activity. A way to check if it is installed in a house is that if the gas supply in a particular locale is low, but the meter reading shows higher usage, the residents can easily be caught.

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