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Crackdown on illegal use of gas link soon

Published : 24 Nov 2021 10:09 PM

The Energy Division has decided to take stringent action against those who are wrongly using gas commercially with having the approval of household connection, official source said. 

Currently, household consumers are paying Tk 925 for single-burner and Tk 975 for double-burner per month. Besides, metered household consumers are paying Tk 12.60 per cubic metre. On the other hand, the price of gas per cubic metre for commercial consumers is Tk 23 in case of hotels and restaurants and Tk 17.04 for small and cottage industries.

According to gas distribution companies, "It cannot be used commercially with a residential connection. This is completely illegal. But with the approval of household gas connection in different areas including the capital city of Dhaka, many are using it commercially. As a result, the government is losing huge amount of revenue every month. Commercial activities are going on in different types of offices including food corners, restaurants etc. So, it has been decided to identify these types of gas connections.”

Energy Division official sources also said that gas distribution companies raised the issue in a recent meeting. They also complained that gas is being used illegally in some places and it is difficult to control. 

Md. A Hamid Zamadder, Additional Secretary (Operation) of Energy and Mineral Resources Division told the Bangladesh Post that regular campaigns are underway to stop illegal gas connections. Besides, all distribution companies have been directed to take strict action against those who are using gas commercially with approval of household connections. After getting any such complaint, the connection will be severed with fine.

Prior to the import of high-priced LNG from August 18, 2018, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division had instructed all distribution companies to declare themselves free from illegal connections. However, the distribution companies could not remove all the illegal lines.

Sources said that the energy division had formed a committee to disconnect illegal gas connections across the country. The committee was ordered several times to disconnect all illegal gas connections by December 31 last year. But it is not implemented till now. 

LNG purchased at a higher price is now being sold at a lower price. The government has to pay a huge subsidy for this. The government has taken initiative to disconnect illegal gas connections to stop the illegal use of this expensive gas.

Energy expert, Professor Shamsul Alam told Bangladesh Post, the government has cracked down on militants. So, it is not a difficult task to remove illegal gas connections. If there is strong determination, it is possible to get rid of illegal connections within 24 hours. 

He said illegal gas connection has become a big business for a class of unscrupulous people. This business is not being shut down due to political patronage, indulgence and dishonest officials and employees.