Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Our winters have also become seasons for acute gas crisis

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FOR the past decade our winter months have become the months for acute gas crisis across the capital. Once more, many areas in the city, including Mohammadpur, Bosila, Adabar, West Agargaon, Shewrapara, Kazipara, Kafrul, West Dhanmondi, Lalbag, Sobhanbag, Indira Road, Tanti Bazar, Shakharibazar, Kamrangirchar, Uttara, Dakhinkhan, Uttarkhan, South Banasree and Moghbazar, have been hit by the same crisis for the last couple of days.  The crisis has forced residents of these areas to use alternative means to cook or buy prepared food. Moreover, the adverse effects of the ongoing gas crisis have spread out beyond the kitchens and have hit restaurants, CNG filling stations and industrial areas.

Though the public grudge is evidently understandable, but the reparative measures to respond to it, is still fairly inadequate and unclear. As mentioned before, it is usually in winter when gas shortage in Bangladesh is felt due to high consumption in the domestic sector, and also it's in winter when transmission and supply is hampered due to blockage created for climactic reasons and complex technical issues. Based on previous winter experiences this should have been predicted beforehand. Maintenance of supply lines too, should be more regular and not come about when lines are jammed. Additionally, illegal and unauthorised supply channels should be immediately identified and stopped. 

Long term solutions like exploring untapped offshore sources, setup newer and alternate pipelines, increase in supply and etc are time consuming resolutions, but the continuing acute shortage needs to be effectively handled with temporary supply arrangements. Regrettably, authorities concerned have fallen short of expedient coping strategies to deal with the continuing crisis.  
 
However, in the face of severe constraints, one is expected to act promptly by prioritising tasks as according to their levels of importance. Meaning, the gas supplied to the industrial sector will have to be accordingly balanced with the domestic sector's supply. It's up to the authorities to decide how to strike this balance between the two. But that striking the balance will have to be made quickly, in order to avoid further unexpected dilemmas.

According to experts, domestic gas lines are not supposed to be supplied with natural piped gas as it is depleting fast. But an alternative to this solution could not be introduced either. Though potentially liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is an option, but in terms of costs, it's nearly three times the price of normal gas. Its price has to be significantly reduced so to make it affordable to the people falling under our low income segment.
Government seems to be indifferent to address this seasonal crisis at the cost of increased public sufferings. It must stop.


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