Gas crisis a daily reality for many Dhaka residents

The situation has gotten so bad in recent days that buying breakfast from outside has become a daily reality for many.

Asifur Rahman

Asifur Rahman

The Daily Star


January 20, 2022

DHAKA – For many households and industries in Dhaka and its adjacent areas, gas supply has become as scarce as hen’s teeth for two months now.

Take the case of Nilufar Mannan, a housewife from Mohammadpur’s Tajmahal Road. Since winter started, she has to finish her cooking for the day before 10 am as the piped gas supply to her kitchen just dies.

“It is so stressful,” she told The Daily Star yesterday.

It is a similar story over at Jatrabari, about 12 kilometres from Nilufar’s neighbourhood.

“Since early morning, we don’t get any gas supply,” said Sohel Rana Shuvo, a resident of Jatrabari.

The situation has gotten so bad in recent days that buying breakfast from outside has become a daily reality.

The Daily Star contacted residents in Rajabazar, Jigatola, Mohakhali, Adabar, Badda, Banasree, Mirpur, Pallabi and Old Dhaka and all said the same: they were suffering from a shortage of gas supply.

For Shurovi Rosario, a homemaker from East Rajabazar, her husband has come up with a costly alternative to paper over the crisis in piped gas supply to her kitchen: get an electric burner and over.

“We are having to pay extra electricity bills, while also paying the bill for the gas that we are not being supplied — this is unfair,” she told The Daily Star yesterday.

It is not just the households; the industries that have mushroomed surrounding Dhaka are also suffering from production losses for the gas crisis.

And there does not seem to be an end to the sufferings.

Since September 19, the government has started to keep the CNG filling stations closed every day for four hours with the view to providing an uninterrupted piped gas supply.

Evidently, it is not helping much.

The increase in the international price is another reason for the gas supply crisis, said an official of the energy division of the power, energy and mineral resources ministry.

The current demand for gas in the country is more than 3,800 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day).

The distributors supplied 2,600-2,700 mmcfd.

Bangladesh produced more than 75 percent of the required gas and imported 20 percent, according to officials of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission. Only 5 percent of the required gas was bought from the international spot market.

Bangladesh imported LNG at $36 per MMBtu from the spot market in October 2021 and got price quotes as high as $51 from a supplier.

Experts said the government’s increasing dependency on the open market without searching for new gas sources could cause suffering for all.

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