Energy Ministry to form scrutiny committee
After nearly three years of suspension, the government has finally decided to provide new gas connections to household consumers soon.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given her nod to a proposal of the Energy Division to provide new gas connections immediately. So, we’ll shortly start providing new gas connections to household consumers,” Energy Secretary Mozammel Hoque told reporters on Tuesday about the decision.
New gas connections to industries remained suspended since July 2009 following a government embargo. Later, another order was issued by the government in July 2010 to halt all kinds of new gas connection, including the household ones.
But the High Court recently issued a modified order clearing the way for providing gas connections to different consumers considering public interest. But the new connections could not be started as the Energy Division moved a file seeking the Prime Minister’s directive.
The Energy Secretary said the Prime Minister has given some specific directives to provide new gas connections. Based on her instructions, the Energy Ministry will form a scrutiny committee headed by a joint secretary to set priorities and select the criteria for providing the new gas connections.
Mozammel Hoque informed that among the household consumers who paid required money and received demand notes will get the priority in getting connections. “These consumers may get connections even from tomorrow,” he said.
Then, he said, those who have illegal connections and also taken new connections through unfair means, will have to first pay penalty and then regularise their connections.
After that those consumers who have been living within the gas distribution network will get the connection. “But no new distribution line will be installed or extended to provide new gas connections,” said Mozammel Haque.
The new connections will be provided up to 15 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) consumed.
Energy Ministry officials believe that real-estate business will be most benefited by the new decision as thousands of new apartment remained unsold for lack of gas connections in Dhaka, Chittagong and other major cities.
Source: UNB Connect