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14th-Jan-2018

Gas crisis acute in Dhaka, Ctg

By

Anisul Islam Noor :
The residents of Dhaka city, its adjoining areas and Chittagong have been suffering in cooking and preparing food due to severe fall of gas pressure in supply lines which  continued for around 10 to 12 hours a day.
Leaders of different rights groups and experts said, authorities of Titas gas are taking full charge from the consumers at the end of the month though they cannot supply enough gas in the lines.
Talking with The New Nation, Energy expert Professor Shamsul Alam, who is also energy adviser of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said that he had already asked the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to take necessary actions for ensuring consumers rights.
 "It totally unethical and violation of consumers rights that Titas gas is taking full bills of gas at the end of the month but not supplying gas in the cooking hours, he said.  
Titas gas supply officials said, gas supply has been disrupted in the households of some areas because of sudden fall of gas pressure in the supply lines due to acute cold weather.
Due to the low pressure of gas, especially in the first half of the day, the city residents cannot prepare breakfast and lunch, to the utter inconvenience of the people.
The residents are complaining for not getting enough gas pressure to cook in last two weeks from old Dhaka, Malibag, Rampura, New Eskaton, Razabazar, Kathalbagan,  Baksybazar, Farmgate, Indira Road, Jatrabari, Gendaria and parts of Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Kalabagan, Khilgaon, Bashabo,  Banasree, Badda, Gulshan and Uttara.
Khuhely Begum, a resident of the city's old town said that she has to prepare breakfast for her family by 6:30am and wait until 3:30pm for preparing lunch as the burners got virtually no gas supplies during the period.
Elderly people and children are suffering the most as the warm water they needed could not be provided for lack of gas, she said.
She also expressed her disgust for the government's latest move to raise the price of natural gas when it failed to ensure uninterrupted supply.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Managing Director Mir Mashiur Rahman on Saturday told The New Nation that the country's largest gas distribution company supplies 1,600 mmcf per day to 1,650 mmcf against a demand for 2,000 mmcf per day. Recent cold wave has further worsened the situation, he said.
Director Operation Engineer Ali Ashraf told the reporters that gas consumption has increased by about 20 percent due to cold weather.
Residents of Gazipur, Narayanganj, Tangail, Comilla and Chittagong are also reported that they were experiencing severe short supply of gas.
Now approximately three million domestic users consume around 300 mmcfd gas in the country, sources said.
Officials of the gas distribution utilities attributed the shortage to increased demand and rapid fall in temperature. Business bodies, however, claimed that they are getting better gas supplies at factories and CNG filling stations than previous years as the government suspended gas supplies to the fertiliser factories before winter set in towards the end of December to increase the supplies to the industrial units and CNG stations.
Out of six fertiliser factories, the government suspended gas supplies to four, which increased gas supplies by more than 100 mmcfd.
Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversation Workshop Owners' Association General Secretary Farhan Noor said that they are still experiencing shortage of gas supplies but the magnitude of sufferings was lesser than previous years.
The country's demand for natural gas was more than 3,700 million cubic feet per day while Petrobangla, the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, could supply less than 2,700 mmcfd.