The government, after a three-year suspension, on Tuesday decided to allow the gas distribution companies to provide new gas connections to the households, energy division secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan said on Tuesday afternoon.
‘The gas distribution companies will be asked to give priority to the applicants who had paid charges for the connections before the government suspended giving new gas connections. about 58,000 illegal consumers would be legalised by realising penalty in line with Gas Distribution Rules 2004,’ he said.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, also minister for power, energy and mineral resources, on Tuesday approved an energy division proposal in this regard, he said.
Mozammel told reporters that the division would instruct Petrobangla, the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, in writing to provide the pending connections.
Replying to a question, he said that the pending connections would need an additional supply of 22 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.
Except grid-feeding power stations, in June 2010 the government suspended giving new gas connections to all other applicants.
In the early 2011, the gas distribution companies started providing new gas connections as a matter of ‘priority’ to industries but on a limited scale.
The priority is set by a high-level committee headed by the prime minister’s energy adviser Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury.
The government, when it suspended providing new gas connections, also announced that it would resume providing new connections after the national gas production rises to 2,200 million cubic feet a day.
But the government spent one more year in resuming gas connections to the households even after the national production increased to about 2,250 million cubic feet per day by mid-June 2012 saying that the government was giving priority to power generation and fertiliser production using gas.
Officials and experts said that the government resumed providing new gas connections to the households to take advantage in coming general election as both power generation and fertiliser production were interrupted for gas shortage.
Source : EB, @rrajowan