Local Awami League leaders in certain localities of Narayanganj and Munshiganj seem to have set up their own governments. The ‘gas committees’ sets up by the local Awami League leaders are so strong that the government and local administration are unable to do anything against them. According to the government’s implementation, monitoring and evaluation department (IMED), this situation has caused Titas Gas losses of about one million taka a year in these two districts.
IMED’s field research in the first three months of 2014 in Narayanganj and Munshiganj reveals that Titas Gas was not paid about 8.77% of the gas that that been supplied there. IMED’s reports states that of this, 6% of the gas costs is not being recovered due to illegal connections.
A Prothom Alo report on the illegal gas connections at Narayanganj and Munshiganj states that, about 46 thousand houses in these two districts have illegal gas connections. These illegal connections are being provided openly. The consumers have paid the local Awami League leaders’ syndicates about Tk 45 thousand per connection. They tell the consumers that the government will not sever the connection and they will not have to pay any gas bill.
It will not be easy to cut these illegal connections. The Titas Gas authorities began a drive in this regard, but finally withdrew. Had the government and the administration been effective and had law proceeded on its own accord, this situation wouldn’t have arisen.
IMED’s report recommends that these illegal connections be made legal. This may be a realistic solution, but it sets a precedence that is not in keeping with the rule of law. It is important to take legal action and punitive measures against the Awami League leaders who have taken money for this illegal work.