Aleppo – North-Press Agency
Zein al-Abdin Hussein
All Syrian governorates, Aleppo in particular, are witnessing a suffocating gas crisis due to the shortage and high costs of fuel "diesel", the frequent interruption of electricity on one hand, and the shortage of gas distributed on the other hand. The Syrian government had announced earlier this year the distribution of gas via what is known as a "smart card", so that gas cylinders were distributed to the civilians in a definite period, under the supervision of neighborhood committees "mukhtars", in order to limit the monopoly of traders of gas, but the crisis didn't end, as it opened another door for monopoly and patronage.
About this suffocating crisis, Mustafa Qal'aji, the Secretary-General of the Syrian Change and Renaissance Party in Aleppo, talked to North-Press about the comments of government officials regarding this matter, by saying: "They talk about the issue of losing domestic gas every day, and everyone denounces this crisis, the officials state that there is gas, but the statements are contrary to the truth.”
Qal'aji indicated the gas isn't available in a systematic manner, but it is available in the black market and with the required quantity, as this indicates there is no censorship on that market, "it appears to everyone that this is a matter of corruption.”
He emphasized that, the solution lies in setting a standard which ensures fairness in distribution, as well as the priority of the citizen’s interest over the issue of trading in gas with the neighboring countries such as Lebanon or other countries.
Despite the statements of the officials in the Syrian government, the most recent of which was the statement of the director of Gas Operations in Syria, Ahmad Hassoun, regarding the relief of the gas crisis and its overcoming, there are no indications of that, and citizens are still standing for long hours to obtain their allocations of domestic gas, as they are demanding a solution for this crisis.
Abdo Issa, a history teacher from Ashrafiya neighborhood, said the gas crisis has negatively affected everyone, as he had to stand from five in the morning in front of the place of distribution until eleven p.m. to obtain a gas cylinder, and he had to take time off from school for this reason.
While citizen Berihan Abdul Majeed, said she comes to the queue instead of her husband so that he can go to work, adding that a single cylinder isn't enough for their household work.
She added that the electricity is also cut off a lot and you cannot rely on it as a substitute for gas, as she demanded the authorities in charge to solve one of the two crises, either gas or electricity, because they cannot buy the gas cylinder from the black market due to its high price and their limited income.