• Sunday, Feb 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:33 am

Dhaka households face gas supply crisis as mercury dips

  • Published at 10:48 am January 21st, 2021
Representational image Bigstock

Authorities promise to put an end to the crisis by Friday

Following the recent dip in mercury, the pressure of gas supply across capital Dhaka has also dropped, affecting the usual supply to households. 

This has caught city dwellers off guard. They expressed their anger and dissatisfaction while talking to Dhaka Tribune.

They said that they were still in the dark about when their miseries would come to an end as some continued to suffer from daylong gas outages, while others – with very low supply pressure – kept struggling to prepare a single meal. 

When contacted, the distribution authorities claimed that the situation would get back to normal after Friday.

“We are unable to cook a single day’s meal due to gas shortage. I had to buy food from outside. 

“It is not as hygienic as the food that I prepare in my kitchen,” Sumi Akter, a housewife from the capital’s Middle Badda area, complained. 

Households in the capital’s Shekhertek, Mohammadpur, Adabar, Bhatara, Mirpur, Pallabi, East Rajabazar, Dhanmondi 15, Jigatola, Moghbazar, Banasree, Badda, Gandaria, Lalbagh, and several other areas of Old Dhaka have confirmed the gas crisis and criticized the authorities concerned for their “inability to ensure proper gas pressure.”

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company is the authorized distributor of domestic gas in Dhaka city. 

The piped gas lines in households are designed to supply gas at 50psi [pounds per square inch] but the pressure for the last few years has been hovering around 10-12psi, sources at Titas told Dhaka Tribune.

According to the sources, the Titas authorities recently learnt that gas pressure at different Dhaka areas had been hovering around a shocking 0-2psi. 

“I have never seen gas supply be proper during winter. Nowadays, gas only comes around 10pm at night and stays till 7am in the morning, without consistent pressure, and this timing is very inconvenient. 

“This has increased the sufferings of my family. This is why I need to keep a LPG cylinder as backup and these are expensive,” said Moumi Khondoker, who works for a Dhaka bank.

Ali Iqbal Md Nurullah, managing director of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, told Dhaka Tribune that the company had been facing a crisis in gas supply for the last three days.

“We were able to manage the situation last week but the crisis deepened this week, affecting the whole country,” he said, adding, “We will get everything fixed within Friday and everything will go back to normal from next week.”

The gas distribution authority hinted that the reduction in import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the last two months of 2020 had accelerated the crisis. 

Following a sudden hike in the price of fossil fuel in the international spot market, the state-run agency, Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited, which imports LNG into Bangladesh, had to cancel the plan for two consignments of 138,000 cubic metres of LNG each in November and December. 

The country needs at least 525 million standard cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of imported LNG daily to keep the gas supply at a normal level where the distribution authorities are getting 200 mmcfd a day, said a Titas official. 

The government has issued some directives to the gas distribution companies to keep supply for households and fertilizer factories at a normal level. 

It also instructed the authorities to reduce gas supply to the power sector temporarily, Md Tazul Islam Majumder, director of Operations at Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) told the media.

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