It is usually during the winter months when acute shortage of gas supply grips the country - causing unimaginable suffering to its users. There is no denying the fact that fall in the supply of gas is due mainly to its scarcity at production stages. This year the crisis is likely to worsen following shortages experienced in May and October last year. Not only the production in our RMG factories fell by a percentage last year, but consumers at private level are also getting less gas than they need for maintaining household tasks. Currently, the gas supply deficit at the national level is estimated at around 775 million cubic feet per day and it continues to widen.
Apparently, the gas generation and distribution authorities have not been able to gear up the implementation of some important projects, causing a drop in production in the face of an ever increasing demand. Coupled with poor planning and widespread pilferage the crisis continues to worsen and needs to be addressed urgently. Instead of keeping the general people in the dark, the authorities should disclose its vulnerabilities, so as to tackle the situation by finding a way out collectively. In the long run the key to solution of the crisis lies in exploring and developing more gas fields while at the same time finding alternative sources of renewable energy. Off-shore gas blocks will have to be explored and developed the quickest before the country faces more difficult times.
So, concerted efforts should be made to see if gas deposits - believed to be lying under the Bay of Bengal seabed - are appropriately discovered and brought to the production line .For the short term, concerned authorities should focus on repair and upgradation of lines besides snapping illegal connections. These would at least help ease the worsening crisis. The gas distribution system need total overhaul to make sure that illegal connections are done away with and no more unauthorized connections tax the nation in terms of unaccounted for use of gas plus loss of revenue. This has become an urgent need of the hour. The government should re-organize its supply planning for the rest of the year, and the days beyond.
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