Hit by gas crisis, units in Narayanganj, Munshiganj stare at ‘shutdown’

About 500 hundred small, medium and heavy industrial units in Narayanganj and Munshiganj are facing closure due to a massive shortage of gas in the area.

According to owners of the units, about 5 lakh workers are employed in these factories. If these units down shutters, entrepreneurs said the workers would be in dire straits and could be looking at layoff. The country also might lose foreign currency worth about Tk 5,000 crore on account of lost exports, they said.

“Gas is not available from 7 am to 10 pm,” one of the mill owners told ‘The Independent’. “The factories in this region have to be shut down for 15 hours every day in the absence of adequate pressure of gas in the pipeline.”

The mill owners urged Titas Gas Ltd to resolve the gas crisis and bring relief to consumers.

Md Harun-ur-Rashid, chairman of the Asian Group of Industries, said: “The number of orders for our products from foreign clients is decreasing each day since we cannot wrap up their orders in time. As a result, the demand-supply gap is constantly surging.”

According to Rashid, Titas Gas Ltd provided connection to other areas from Siddhirganj and Mushiganj gas lines about two months ago, leading to the nagging gas crisis.

“We approached the chairman of Petro Bangla, seeking a solution to the crisis,” he said, “but the Petro Bangla chairman forwarded our letter of grievance to the managing director of Titas Gas.”

He said there has since been no improvement in the situation.

He said most unit owners in the region could be staring at bankruptcy if the orders to foreign clients are cancelled since most entrepreneurs took bank loans to raise output in their mills.

“We also failed to make regular wage payment to our workers since the impasse has begun,” Rashid said. “If the government does not solve the gas crisis within a few days, workers employed in these factories would face serious financial crunch in the coming Ramzan season,” Rashid said.

He also urged the government to pay due attention to resolve the crisis.

Akram Hossain

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