Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd is going to install some 120,000 more prepaid gas metres in the city with the unspent fund of JICA, a Japanese donor agency.
According to official sources, a revised development project profile (RDPP) was sent by the Titas Gas to the Planning Commission through Energy and Mineral Resources Division.
“Once we receive the approval to the RDPP from the executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), we’ll proceed to install the metres in seven more areas in Dhaka city under an existing project,” said Faizur Rahman, project director of the prepaid metering project of the Titas Gas.
Under an existing project, he said, 200,000 prepaid gas metres have so far been installed in 26 areas of the city.
“The same Japanese contractor will do the job under a variation order,” Faizur Rahman told UNB.
He said installation of these new meters will start within this year and complete by June 2022.
Official sources said the areas, where the new prepaid metres are to be installed for household consumers include 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).
Under the existing project, prepaid metres have been installed in 26 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 said they are 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 received from Titas Gas, the company has about 2.783 million consumers in its command area and 2.764 million of which are household consumers.
Titas Gas authorities took up the prepaid gas meringue project mainly to check gas pilferage as there are widespread allegations that huge illegal gas connections have been given across the city.
“Even, some illegal consumers pilfer gas through manifold ways. They use one connection to use gas in so many unapproved ovens,” said a top Titas official adding that prepaid metres will check this problem.
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 existing Japanese contractor Toyokeiki Co Ltd, which supplied and installed the previous 200,000 metres, will get the job of the additional 120,000 metres under the same terms and conditions, and prices.
Titas Gas officials said JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), which funded Tk 7.52 billion for the existing project has mobilised fund from the unspent money from its four ongoing projects in the country’s energy sector.