Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper

Take stringent action against illegal gas connection

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THE fire caused by leaky gas line burnt five members, including an infant, of a family in Ashulia area of Savar on Friday. One of them later succumbed to injuries at hospital next day. The gas connection to the two-storey building was taken illegally like thousands of unauthorized connections in Dhaka and many parts of the country. The illegal gas connection is a long hovering problem that ultimately poses a danger of fire incident and also a big reason for gas crisis. Several people have so far been killed in gas explosions in different parts of the country including Dhaka.
The government time to time snap illegal gas connections but a vested quarter in connivance with some unscrupulous employees and officials in exchange of huge money do the illegal business depriving the National Exchequer. Between 2014 and 2017, vigilance teams of different gas distribution companies disconnected about 8 lakh illegal gas lines across the country. But taking illegal connection is not yet stopped.  
Petrobangla sources said the disconnected illegal gas connections include 7,68,836 household, 459 commercial and 171 industrial establishments. In Savar, acute gas crisis disrupts the life of authorised users, as the illegal intruders take a huge gulp of the total supply. It's a regular practice. There are around 50,000 residential customers in Savar but different syndicates have allegedly set up distribution lines at 800 to 900 points of the main supply line, feeding to around 7 lakh illegal gas ovens. The illegal gas connection from the main line deprives the government of a huge amount of revenue. And ultimately, the legal users of gas are mainly sufferers.
There is widespread allegation that getting patronization from a powerful section, Titas contractors and officials are allegedly involved in stealing gas by setting up illegal lines. The cartel is making a fortune as each household pays between Tk 35,000 and Tk 50,000 for gas connection. The syndicates get millions in the case of illegal connection to factories.
Allegations also run rife that local administration and some policemen also join hands in making some quick bucks from the bustling trade. We hope, the government agencies must burst the syndicates; otherwise, such fire incidents would be multiplied in the coming days when demand for gas would be increased for warming the houses in the winter season.

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