Citywide gas shortage continues because of inefficient gas distribution lines and excessive demand
Despite the government's move to add 500 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) to the national gas network, the severe gas crisis that the city dwellers have been experiencing in many areas is unlikely to be resolved soon due to weak distribution network, officials said.
The government has imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar to combat the gas supply. The import is expected to add 500mmcfd to the national grid from this month. The ship carrying the LNG consignment is anchored at the Moheshkhali LNG terminal.
But officials at state-owned Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd believe the efforts to be in vain, saying more gas would not solve the situation until distribution lines are improved.
A senior executive at Titas Gas said:"Our gas lines have not seen any major improvements over the past years because of the government policy to discourage the residential use of gas."
He noted that in many areas, the distribution lines have grown incapable of meeting the growing gas demand.
"You had one or two families living in a place before. Now, over 10 families live in the same location and use the old gas lines," he said.
Mirpur, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Mohammadpur, Shyamoli, Adabar, Kallyanpur, Nakhalpara, Kathalbagan, Central Road, Crescent Road, Moghbazar, Malibagh, Badda, Basabo, Old Dhaka, Lalbagh, and Jatrabari are facing severe gas shortages throughout the day.
"We start getting gas after 10pmfor only three to four hours. The pressure is not even adequate to cook meals," Salma Begum, a housewife living in Nakhalpara, said.
Similar experience was shared by NurjahanKhatun living in Kazipara area of Mirpur. Nurjahansaid she has to cook at midnighton most of the occasions.
According to Titas Gas, 30% of their consumers in Dhaka have been suffering from the gas shortage for quite some time now.
However, Syed ManzurIlahi, Titas Gas deputy managing director and also director of the Supply Efficiency Improvement project, said they have been constantly striving to improve the situation.
"We are currently implementing a pre-paid gas meter installation project to stop illegal connections. Once the project is fully implemented, it will significantly improve the situation," he said.
Yet many senior officials remain sceptical, insisting that unless the government policy changes, increasing the gas supply will not solve the gas crisis.