Fresh prepaid gas metres numbering some 120,000 are likely to be added to the ongoing project of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) to install those in the southern part of the capital city.
According to official sources at Titas, a proposal now remains pending with the Japanese financing agency JICA for their final consent.
“We hope, JICA will give its clearance within a month in this regard,” a top official at Titas Gas told UNB.
TGTDCL, entrusted with the responsibility of natural gas transmission and distribution across Dhaka city and adjoining areas, has taken a project to install 200,000 prepaid metres for the household consumers to check gas pilferage and its misuse.
As per Titas official data, it has about 2.783 million consumers in its command area of which 2.764 are household consumers.
As the oldest and largest gas distribution company, Titas started installing the prepaid gas metres in September 2017 in some areas of Dhaka under a JICA-funded project to complete those within December 2018. But, Titas has so far been able to install about 160,000 units of metres.
“We hope the remaining 40,000 metres will be installed by December 2019,” said Faizur Rahman, project director of the Titas Gas’s prepaid metre scheme.
He admitted that JICA is considering financing installation of the 120,000 more prepaid metres under the same project with the extension of both funding and timeframe.
He said there is a proposal from Titas Gas to repeat the order to existing Japanese contractor Toyokeiki Co Ltd under the same terms and condition and price of the metres.
Faizur Rahman said the new 120,000 units of prepaid metres will be installed in areas under Dhaka South City Corporation, mostly located in old part of the city.
Under the existing project, prepaid metres were installed in areas mainly under Dhaka North City Corporation, which include Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara, Badda, Tejgaon, Cantonment, Kafrul, Khilkhet, Uttara, and Mirpur.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project involving Tk 712 crore setting the project completion period between January 2015 and December 2018.
Officials said when Titas moved for physical works, it found many of its service lines, laid underground from main gas lines in the streets to the consumers’ houses, faulty. It also found the house lines, installed from gas connection raising points to house-ovens, leaked.
“Such problems have caused the delay in the project,” said a Titas official.
A top official at Titas Gas Prepaid Metre project said prepaid gas metres are very sensitive. “These won’t work if there’s any leak either in service line or in household connection. So, we’ve to suspend the installation of prepaid metres if any faulty connection is detected.”