Quick solution to gas and electricity crisis is essential

Dhaka and Chittagong are suffering from gas shortage and frequent load shedding all over the country. As two floating LNG terminals located at Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar are temporarily closed due to Cyclone Moka, gas shortage has occurred in various areas of the country including Chittagong. Due to the gas crisis, there is also a shortfall in power generation. Stoves are not burning in houses in Chittagong, suffering is extreme. Although there is gas in the capital Dhaka, the pressure is very low. The cooking crisis has also appeared in homes and hotels along with the transport sector which is dependent on gas. The entire gas demand in Chittagong is supplied from the LNG terminal. One of the two floating terminals was moved from its designated location to the deep sea last Friday night to avoid damage due to Cyclone Moka. As a result, the average daily supply of 700 million cubic feet of gas from those two terminals to the pipeline has been stopped. This has resulted in a major shortage of gas. Concerned authorities have said that they will have to wait for a few more days to solve this gas crisis. We hope that the authorities will take initiative to solve it quickly. Natural disasters are not new in our country. We cannot rely solely on LNG to maintain uninterrupted gas and electricity supplies during and after disasters. It is important to find alternatives and solve problems immediately. I think it is necessary for the government to focus on formulating and implementing a realistic, planned and long-term solution so as not to fall into such a situation in the future. It is very unfortunate that the coastal areas have already been damaged by Cyclone Moka, and now food, transport and power shortages due to lack of gas are becoming a cause of suffering. We hope for a speedy resolution to this issue. At present the gas demand in the country is about 4 thousand million cubic feet. Of this, Petrobangla supplied the maximum 2800-2900 million cubic feet. Petrobangla supplied 2274 million cubic feet of gas last Sunday from domestic gas fields as two LNG terminals were closed. A major shortage of demand and supply is the cause of the crisis. Loadshedding has been happening all over the country since Friday night. Loadshedding is done every three to five hours in different areas of the capital, but loadshedding is happening for 12 to 14 hours day and night in rural areas outside the capital. SSC candidates are not able to study properly due to excessive heat and load shedding. Battery operated vans and auto drivers are not able to drive even half of the day as they cannot charge properly. On the one hand, as their income has decreased, on the other hand, there has been a transportation crisis. Gas reserves in our country are not endless. But the demand is increasing. New connections are also being made. In the context of the current situation, there is a need to rethink our use of gas. As gas supplied in pipelines is wasted a lot. Introduction of meter system or any such initiative is not being implemented to curb this wastage. Although CNG is used freely in the transport sector, there is no initiative to control it. On the other hand, dependence on gas in electricity production is not decreasing. There is no alternative to increase the gas reserves by exploring and drilling new wells to overcome the gas crisis. Waste of gas should be prevented. Consciousness and frugality in gas usage at consumer level is also desirable. Gas distribution system should be improved. Above all, economical and well-planned use of gas and electricity should be ensured.

Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.

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