The household customers along with the industries of Chittagong are reeling under an acute gas crisis. The gas crisis has become acute since the last November. The officials of the Karnaphuli Gas Company claimed that, the total gas supply from the national grid to Chittagong area has dropped by 5/6 crore cubic feet. Moreover, the gas pressure even drops more before reaching Chittagong as the industries situated beside the highway of Feni to Sitakunda are pulling gas.
The day to day life of the household dwellers are heavily affected due to the shortage of gas supply. Abdul Jabbar, an inhabitant of the Rahattorpul area of the port city said that, the acute gas crisis persists for a time span of 10 am to 4 pm and it got even worse when there is no gas in the supply line for the whole day. “So I’ve bought a kerosene burner to overcome the crisis”, he added. Jahangir Alam another city dweller living in the Faridapara area said that, the crisis is so severe. “We can’t cook the whole day’s meal for a single day and now we’ve bought an LPG cylinder”, he added. The scenario is all the same in other parts of the city including Chandgaon, Firingi bazaar, Baklia, Agrabad, Patenga, Doublemuring, Alkoron.
Cooking becomes impossible as the gas crisis turned mad at the peak hours in Chittagong area. Industries are failing to operate and maintain their targeted production due to the low pressure of the gas, thus making the production cost higher. The scarcity of gas is also causing unrest in other sectors like CNG fueled transports, gas-powered power plants as well.
There are a total number of 5 lac residential customers of the natural gas in Chittagong and the daily demand of gas is 6 crore cubic feet. A high official of the Karnaphuli Gas Company said that, the higher authority is aware of the gas crisis situation. He claimed that, Chittagong has been a victim of discrimination while allocating gas from the national grid. He alleged that, the gas supply has dropped since the last 2 months and gas is taken away to Dhaka from Ashuganj.
A single 24-inch dia transmission line has been supplying gas to the whole Chittagong area. Before the crisis, Chittagong would get 25 crore cubic feet of gas where now transmission line is passing only 20-21 crore cubic feet of gas.
However, the Chittagong city dwellers are even getting a lower amount of gas in reality as the industries at the midways of Feni to Sitakunda highway are pulling up a significant amount of gas leaving the Chittagong only with around 17 crore cubic feet of gas. Out of 2 fertilizer factories, one is shut down due to low gas supply and 4 units of a power plant is also kept shut due to the severe crisis of gas. The daily demand for gas in the Chittagong city is around 45 crore cubic feet. Initiating new gas connections to the households is still prohibited in the households.
According to the deputy general manager of Karnaphuli Gas Company, in terms of gas supply, Chittagong is now being the victim of discrimination. “We can’t handle the situation even shutting down our fertilizer and power plants”, he added/