Gas supply shortage hits Dhaka life hard

Manjurul Ahsan | Updated at 12:08am on May 21, 2018


Thousands of households in Dhaka have been facing severe shortage of gas supply for the past one week although the supplies to other major consumers like power stations, CNG filling stations and fertiliser factories are being staggered.
Allegations of gas supply shortage have been raised from almost all major areas of the capital, particularly residential buildings located a bit far from the main roads or the gas transmission and distribution pipes with higher capacity.
The city dwellers are facing the supply shortage at a time when Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, responsible for gas supplies in and around Dhaka, has been struggling to snap illegal gas connections.
Gas supply starts declining after 7:00am and hardly there is any supply to the kitchen burners at about noon, said Morium Zamila, a school teacher and resident of Mirpur-13 area.
Quoting her colleagues, she said that the gas supply to households was similar in the other areas of Mirpur.
She added that that they had earlier experienced such shortage in winter, but never in summer.
Cooking foods for children and aged people and preparing iftar are being severely hampered, said Suraya Begum, a housewife and a resident of Banasri.
‘We are planning to buy a cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas,’ she said.
Gas supply shortage has been experienced in many areas, partly or fully, including Uttara and adjacent areas, Badda, Banasri, Rampura, Khilgaon, Sutrapur, Gendaria, Lalbagh and other areas in the Old Town, Mohammadpur and Mirpur.
Some Titas officials said that the gas supply shortage made them puzzled as the company reduced gas supplies to the power stations
and CNG filling stations and totally stopped supply to fertiliser factories.
Numerous illegal gas consumers might have increased the demand for natural gas leading to the unusual supply shortage, they assumed.
The company’s managing director Mir Mashiur Rahman told New Age on Sunday that they received about 46.73 million cubic metres of gas a day against a demand for over 53.81 million cubic metres a day.
He also said that people were cooking five times a day during the month of Ramadan instead of thrice a day earlier.
Rashedul Hasan, a resident at Shanar Par of Shanir Akhra, alleged that no households received adequate gas supply in the past one week or more while many factories manufacturing coils and soap received uninterrupted gas supply.
He said that those factories used compressor-like machine to obtain better gas supply.
Asked whether the gas supply shortage was triggered by the illegal gas consumers, Titas managing director said that they had already snapped 90 per cent of the illegal connections and would continue the drives.
He said that the situation would improve once gas supplies to the national pipeline began from imported Liquefied Natural Gas.
In February, the energy division gave an ultimatum to Titas to get rid of illegal gas connections before the beginning of LNG import.
The daily gas supply report shows that Titas supplies less than 10 million cubic metres of gas a day to the power stations against a demand for over 20 mmcmd and no gas to the three fertiliser factories. Besides, all the CNG filling stations keep their operation suspended for six hours a day from 5:00pm to 11:00pm.
Petrobangla, the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, now supplies 75.62 mmcmd gas against a demand for over 105 mmcmd.
Petrobangla is expecting to increase gas supplies by 14.16 mmcmd from imported LNG by the end of May.