The household consumers of five more areas in the capital are going to get prepaid gas metres within this year as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has approved an additional funding for an ongoing project of Titas Gas.
“We’ve already received JICA approval for funding installation of 120,000 additional prepaid gas metres of the project,” Ali Mohammad Al Mamun, managing director of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, told UNB.He said now a process is underway to receive necessary approval of the Planning Commission through a revised development project profile (DPP).
Titas Gas officials said the organisation is getting ready to implement the prepaid gas metre project in new five areas of Dhaka aimed at reducing the wastage of natural gas.
The areas are Paltan, Ramna, New Market, Khilgaon and Segunbagicha which are mainly located in the central part of the city under the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
“We hope we would be able to get the Planning Commission’s approval on revised DPP of the project,” Mamun said adding that the Titas Gas has a plan to install additional 100,000 prepaid gas metres within the next two years beginning in July next.
The officials said the Titas Gas, responsible for natural gas transmission and distribution across Dhaka city and adjoining areas, has already installed 200,000 prepaid meters for household consumers, with an aim to check gas pilferage and misuse.
Under the existing project, prepaid metres have been installed in areas mainly under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), including Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara, Badda, Tejgaon, Cantonment, Kafrul, Khilkhet, Uttara, and Mirpur.Many consumers of these areas informed that they have been getting benefit of the prepaid gas metres as they now pay less than one-third of the amount which they paid under non-metering system monthly.
As per official data from Titas Gas, the company has about 2.783 million consumers in its command area, of which 2.764 million are household consumers.
Titas Gas started installing the prepaid gas metres in some areas of Dhaka in September 2017 under a JICA-funded project. The project was supposed to be completed by December 2018 but the installation was completed recently.
Officials said the existing Japanese contractor Toyokeiki Co Ltd, which supplied and installed the previous 200,000 meters, will get the job of the additional 120,000 metres under the same terms and conditions, and prices.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the Tk 712 crore project, setting its completion period in between January 2015 and December 2018.
When Titas Gas moved to begin the installation, the officials said, it found many of its underground service lines to consumers’ houses faulty with some connections having leaks.
"Such problems have caused the delay in the project," said a Titas Gas official.
A top official of the Titas Gas Prepaid Metre Project said the installation of prepaid gas metres is very sensitive.
"The metres will not work if there’s a leak either in the service line or in the household connection. As a result, we’ve to suspend the installation of prepaid metres if any faulty connection is detected," he said.