Titas seeking foreign aid to install prepaid metres in all households28 September 2021 Editorial Desk
Bangladesh's largest state-run natural gas distributor is seeking funds from two major donor agencies to implement its plan to install 1.25 million more prepaid gas metres for household customers in the capital city. The financing is being sought from the Asian Development Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation. If the move succeeds, more than half the total consumers of the state-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company will come under the prepaid gas metre coverage. This will also increase the number of Titas Gas prepaid metre customers to about 1.710 million from the existing 460,000.
Titas Gas, the oldest and largest downstream gas distribution company, has been responsible for supply of natural gas to Dhaka and its adjoining districts including Mymensingh, Netrokona, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Narsingdi, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur and Narayanganj since its founding in 1964. But currently, the company has been focusing on just Dhaka city for installing the prepaid gas metres for household consumers where it has the largest network. Over 70 per cent of the total 2.874 million consumers live in the city. The gas transmission company initially installed some 13,100 prepaid meters in Dhanmandi and Mohammadpur in 2013-14 under a pilot project and now 440,000 prepaid meters are being installed in different areas of the city.
Consumers who are under the prepaid metre system are happy as the monthly bills are coming down by almost a half. The biggest advantage of this system is it checks gas pilferage and a consumer pays a bill for what he actually consumes per month. The gas reserve is not unlimited and we should use the natural resource very carefully. But system loss, illegal connections, waste of gas in households have hindered efforts for optimum utilisation of natural gas in the household sector. However the highest quantity of gas is utilised to generate electricity.
We are hopeful, Titas will install of prepaid metres and other companies would follow. The foreign aid would not be a problem if sharks of corruption can be kept at bay.