Gilgit, October 17: At the onset of winters, the prices of firewood and natural gas have increased manifolds in Gilgit city and adjacent areas. With temperature drop in Gilgit, people have started purchasing firewood and gas for keeping their houses warm. They are, however, facing problems because of the rise in prices.
“It is very tough nowadays to live in Gilgit”, a man named Mukhtar told this scribe while buying a cylinder of gas near Madina Market, in the city centre. He said that due to higher price wood he prefers to purchase cylinder of natural gas, but now the prices of firewood has also increased immensely.
It is pertinent to note that unlike other parts of the country, Gilgit – Baltistan has no direct supply of natural gas. Huge tankers carry gas from the urban centres of Pakistan to the region where people buy natural gas in cylinders for usage in kitchen, homes, restaurants and workshops.
The consumers have demanded of the district administration to keep a strict check on the prices of commodities used in daily life. Government officials, however, maintain that the prices have gone up due to the higher demand for these items. “It is a simple equation of supply and demand”, an official said. But he also accepted that several traders are using exploitative tactics to make more money during the winter season by artificially increasing prices of the products.