Highlights: Titas at a glance
- Total customers 28.74lakh
- Total gas supply 1,600.9mmcfd
- Bills for 1.3mmcfd gas in Gazaria and 60mmcfd in Narayanganj go unpaid
- Posted a profit of Tk359.81cr in 2019-20
- Annual system loss 2%
- Illegal connections are more in Narayanganj
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) – the country's largest gas distribution company with 28.74 lakh customers – will be divided into at least three companies for better administration and ensuring good governance, and the process is underway.
This was revealed in a virtual discussion, held on Saturday morning hosted by a fortnightly magazine Energy and Power, entitled "Illegal Gas Connection - A Death Trap" which was conducted by the magazine editor Mollah Amjad Hossain.
"There will be no good governance in Titas with such a large area. It's impossible. Time has come to transform Titas into more companies. We have been asked to work on it. After a large-scale discussion, I'll do the rest of the work," said Md Anisur Rahman, senior secretary in the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources on Saturday.
"Titas Gas operates in greater Dhaka and greater Mymensingh areas, from Munshiganj to Sherpur and from Bhairab to Keraniganj. Such a huge area cannot be managed and controlled by the existing structure. That is why we want to divide Titas Gas," he added.
Speaking as the chief guest, Energy Secretary Md Anisur Rahman sought advice from sector experts on how to divide Titas Gas.
Former director of Petrobangla Khandaker Salek Sufi, an expatriate from Australia, who was present at the conference, told the energy secretary that in a 2002 Petrobangla report, they had made a recommendation to divide Titas Gas into three parts – Dhaka Metro, Narayanganj-Narsingdi and Mymensingh.
He suggested that the energy ministry could take action according to the report.
In response, the energy secretary said that the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources was also planning to divide Titas Gas and make at least three companies. Actions would be taken in this regard soon.
The energy secretary further said, "Narayanganj has the highest number of illegal connections among the areas covered by Titas Gas. And in Keraniganj of Dhaka district, most of the installations have been constructed on the gas pipeline. However, a campaign is underway to stop illegal gas connections. Since the legal and illegal connections are together now, we are cutting the connection at the source. This is causing some inconvenience to the legitimate customers but they are helping us."
Regarding the unscrupulous officials of the gas distribution company, the secretary said, "Criminal cases are also being filed against unscrupulous officials, if necessary, in addition to transfers, and administrative actions."
He also said that it was not possible to provide domestic gas connections at present.
TGTDCL Managing Director Ali Iqbal Mohammad Nurullah, in his keynote address, said, "It is not possible to estimate the illegal connections as the matter is now out of control. We have to launch a campaign to remove illegal connections without any estimation."
"In many areas, apart from legal connections, illegal connections spread up to 40-50-km. Although there are some legal customers in these areas, many of them have never paid their bills.
In the Gazaria area, 15 lakh cubic feet [of gas] is supplied but we do not get the revenue for 13 lakh cubic feet. From the Narayanganj area, we do not get revenue of seven crore cubic feet of gas daily worth Tk8-9 crore," Nurullah added.
Among others, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) Member (Gas) Maqbool-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Managing Director of Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Shankar Majumder, Managing Director of Western Region Gas Company Limited Abdul Mannan Patwari, Jalalabad Gas Distribution Company Managing Director Harunur Rashid Mollah, Sundarbans Gas Distribution Company Managing Director Syed Md Nasir Uddin, former Berc member Abdul Aziz Khan and former director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence Brigadier General (retd) Ali Ahmed Khan spoke on the occasion.