413 illegal gas links snapped

Staff Reporter :
Titas Gas authority has snapped 413 illegal connections at Kaliakoir in Gazipur upazila, at Savar upazila’s Ashulia and Hemayetpur in Dhaka district. The crackdown came after Titas’s deadline for self-termination expired on Saturday.
The illegal gas connections were given to residential quarters, restaurants and garment factories, sources said.
The drive aims to remove about 200km illegal distribution lines installed to supply gas to around three lakh households in the capital and its adjoining districts like Narayanganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi.
An executive magistrate led a team to cut 400 household connections at Mouchak and Lohakoir of Kaliyakoir, Hemayet pur and Tetuljora of Savar.
AM Saiful Islam, General Manager (GM) of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, Chandra, Gazipur, said, there are still 73 more illegal connections connecting 15,000 households in Kaliyakoir and parts of Gazipur Sadar Upazila.
The people of Mouchak said that the illegal connections in the Kaliyakoir area
were installed in broad daylight. The ruling AL and the BNP-led alliance helped people obtain illegal gas connections.
Illegal beneficiaries said that they paid Tk 60,000 to 1.5 lakh for a single gas connection. A number of Titas officials were also involved with the irregularities.
The GM said they would take departmental actions if any official and staff were found involved with the illegal work.
The government stopped issuing new connections in mid-2010 following report of shortfall of about 500 million cubic feet of gas per day.
However, late last year, the government made nearly one-lakh illegal gas connections legal. This encouraged people to have illegal gas connections.
Md Nowshad Islam, Managing Director of the Titas, said no illegal lines would be exempted during the drive. “We will conduct drives if the illegal lines are set up again. The lines connected to the network of Titas Gas are totally unacceptable.”