Sudden fall in pressure of gas in the supply lines due to acute cold weather has been causing severe disruption in the daily life of people in Dhaka and in other parts of the country.
The low pressure, especially in the first half of the day, coupled with the existing short supply, has been hampering daily chores, including preparing breakfast and lunch, to the utter inconvenience of people.
In Dhaka, residents of old town, Razabazar, Indira Road, Jatrabari and Gendaria and parts of Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Kalabagan, Kanthalbagan, Jatrabari, Khilgaon, Bashabo, Malibagh, Rampura, Banasree, Badda and Uttara have complained about acute low pressure of gas for the past two weeks.
Mohammadpur resident Suraya Begum said that she had to prepare breakfast for her family by 6:30am and wait until 3:30pm for preparing lunch as the burners got virtually no gas supplies during the period.
Elderly people and children were suffering the most as the warm water they needed could not be provided for lack of gas, said Gendaria resident Samia Alam.
She also expressed her disgust for the government’s latest move to raise the price of natural gas when it failed to ensure uninterrupted supply.
Chittagong and Comilla also reported that domestic consumers in many areas of the cities were experiencing short supply of gas.
Officials of the gas distribution utilities attributed the shortage to increased demand and rapid fall in temperature.
The country’s demand for natural gas was more than 3,700 million cubic feet per day while Petrobangla, the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, could supply less than 2,700 mmcfd, they said.
Now approximately three million domestic users consume around 300 mmcfd gas, they added.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Mir Mashiur Rahman on Wednesday told New Age that the country’s largest gas distribution utility supplied 1,600 mmcfd to 1,650 mmcfd against a demand for 2,000 mmcfd.
Recent cold wave worsened the situation due to rise in demand for natural gas for heating water and due to ‘condensate problem’ in the gas transmission and distribution lines, he added.
Business bodies, however, claimed that they were getting better gas supplies at factories and CNG
filling stations than
previous years as the government suspended gas supplies to the fertiliser factories before winter set in towards the end of December to increase the supplies to the industrial units and CNG stations.
Out of six fertiliser factories, the government suspended gas supplies to four, which increased gas supplies by more than 100 mmcfd.
Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversation Workshop Owners’ Association general secretary Farhan Noor said that they were still experiencing shortage of gas supplies but the magnitude of sufferings was lesser than previous years.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice
president Mansoor Ahmed said that the gas supply situation was not that bad this winter.
He, however, said that the supply situation usually worsened after February when the distribution utilities increased gas supplies to the power stations.