The sudden disruptions in gas supply in Narayanganj and Munshiganj on Tuesday appeared as a double blow to the locals amid the ongoing lockdown.
The disruptions put domestic consumers in a lot of hassle over preparing their midday meals and dinner.
People generally go to restaurants if there is poor gas supply in their kitchens. But on Tuesday, they had nowhere to go to eat as restaurants were closed due to the lockdown.
Sadia Akter, a housewife in Narayanganj's Borabo, said she had cooked minimum meals for her four family members in a small clay stove she had bought for her daughter.
"We do not usually face much problems in gas supply. That is why we do not keep liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders as an emergency backup," she said.
Sadia said the gas supply authorities could have announced in advance that they would carry out pipeline repair.
At 11am on Tuesday, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company issued a press release, saying it had stopped gas supply in Narayanganj and Munshiganj due to leakages in some valves in Narayanganj's Siddhirganj-Godnail RMS (Regulating and Metering Station) and Godnail TBS (Town Border Station).
They said gas supply would be restored once the valves were replaced.
Engr Md Shafiqul Islam Khan, director (operation) at Titas Gas, said valve replacement was completed by afternoon.
But during the whole day, people looked for restaurants to have meals while many rushed to markets to buy LPG cylinders to cook at home.
Factory productions disrupted
Titas Gas supplies gas to more than 1.5 lakh domestic consumers, 1,000 apparel factories, and 12 gas-fired power plants in Narayanganj and Munshiganj.
On Tuesday, industrial production was largely hampered in the two areas.
Mohammad Hatem, first vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said garment factories in Narayanganj would see a Tk272 crore export loss in a single day due to the disruptions.
"Gas supply shortage is not a new problem for garment factories. But such sudden disruptions are not acceptable at all," he said.
Dyeing and knit factories are the major backward linkages of the garment industry and they are run by gas.
"But due to the disruptions, none of the factories was able to run engines," added Hatem.
Md Fazlul Hoque, managing director of Plummy Fashions, said his factory had got some gas supply but the pressure was not at the expected level.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid directed Titas Gas to restore gas supply as soon as possible.
Expressing regret over the inconvenience caused by the disruptions, he said valve replacement would be completed as soon as possible and gas supply would be restored.