Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) plans to install over 600,000 pre-paid meters to reduce misuse of gas and prevent bill manipulation through meter tampering.
The state-owned gas distribution agency itself will arrange fund for installing 300,000 meters while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide money for the remaining ones.
TGTDCL managing director Mohammad Aziz Khan told bdnews24.com that 500 per-paid meters were being installed in Lalmatia and Mohammadpur areas in the city under a pilot project.
Hoping that the pilot project would be completed successfully, he said, “After its success around 8,600 meters will be installed in Gulshan and Banani areas in the city by the end of the next year under another project funded by ADB.”
TGTDCL, which is responsible for supplying gas in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Narasingdi, Manikganj, Gazipur, Tangail, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Sherpur, Jamalpur and Kishoreganj districts, has over 1.56 million customers.
Khan said the cost of the two-year pilot project (November 2009 to November 2011) was estimated to cost Tk 67 million.
Manager of the pre-paid meter project Basudev Saha told bdnews24.com that though the project works started in 2009, initially the devices were installed in the houses of 106 subscribers – 52 in Lalmatia and 54 in Mohammadpur – in May this year to observe their effectiveness.
“The full-scale work of installing meters in both areas started on June 27. A total of 3,500 meters have so far been installed and the remaining 1,000 will be installed by November.”
He said the subscribers have not been charged money as the meters were installed experimentally.
The Institute of Information and Communication Technology of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is providing technical assistance in the project.
Director of the institute Prof M M Lutful Kabir said it is a developed and digital system. “Gas is a natural resource, but not unlimited. We’ve to ensure its best use. The meters will be helpful to reduce the misuse of gas and prevent manipulation in bill.”
According to him, the other advantages of pre-paid gas meters are that there would be no outstanding bill and it would be determined on the basis of the real use.
Before starting its use, a subscriber has to recharge the meter with Tk 200.
The subscribers are being given a smart card to recharge the pre-paid meters. One can recharge the meter with Tk 200 to 1,350. But a subscriber can recharge it with Tk 50 from the company’s Lalmatia office during the public holidays.
Besides, one has to pay Tk 50 a month as the meter use fee.