120,000 meters to be installed in areas mainly located in the central part of the city
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd is going to install some 120,000 more prepaid gas meters in Dhaka with the leftover fund from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), a Japanese donor agency.
According to official sources, a revised development project profile (RDPP) was sent by Titas to the Planning Commission through the Energy and Mineral Resources Division.
"Once we receive the approval to the RDPP from the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), we will proceed to install the meters in seven more areas in Dhaka city under an existing project," said Faizur Rahman, project director of the prepaid metering project of Titas.
Under the ongoing project, 200,000 prepaid gas meters have so far been installed in 26 areas of the city, he said.
"The same Japanese contractor will do the job under a variation order," Faizur Rahman told UNB.
He said installation of these new meters will start within this year and be complete by June 2022.
Official sources said the areas, where the new prepaid meters are to be installed for household consumers include Paltan, Ramna, New Market, Khilgaon and Segunbagicha, which are mainly located in the central part of the city under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
Under the existing project, prepaid meters have been installed in 26 areas mainly under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), including Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara, Badda, Tejgaon, Cantonment area, Kafrul, Khilkhet, Uttara, and Mirpur.
Many consumers of these areas said they are enjoying the benefit of prepaid gas meters as they now pay less than one-third of the amount they used to pay previously.
As per the official data received from Titas, the company has about 2.783 million consumers in its command area, 2.764 million of which are household consumers.
The Titas Gas authorities took up the prepaid gas meter project mainly to check gas pilferage, as there are widespread allegations that a huge number of illegal gas connections have been given across the city.
"Some illegal consumers pilfer gas through manifold ways. They use one connection to use gas in so many unapproved ovens," said a top Titas official, adding that prepaid meters will solve this problem.
Titas Gas started installing the prepaid gas meters in some areas of Dhaka in September 2017 under a Jica-funded project. The project was supposed to be completed by December 2018, but it was finished recently.
Officials said the existing Japanese contractor Toyokeiki Co Ltd, which supplied and installed the previous 200,000 meters, will get the job of the additional 120,000 meters under the same terms and conditions, and prices.
Titas Gas officials said Jica, which provided Tk752 crore for the existing project, has mobilized fund from the unspent money from its four ongoing projects in the country's energy sector.