The prime minister, Sheikh Hasian, on Tuesday gave her final approval for supplying gas for household use in the Rajshahi city.
The prime minister has singed a file in this regard and ordered the authorities concerned to take rapid steps to ensure gas supply for Rajshahi, said a press release of the Rajshahi City Corporation.
According to sources, the project for supplying gas in Rajshahi was approved at the meeting of ECNEC on July-12, 2006 and the then prime minister, Khaleda Zia, inaugurated the project in September-13 the same year.
On September 14, 2006 a contract was signed between the government and the Pashicmachal Gas Company Limited to finish the project by July 2009 at a cost of Tk 105 crore.
Accordingly, Messrs National Telecom Limited set up 280 kilometres of gas pipeline in Rajshahi.
PGCL informed the people of Rajshahi that gas would be supplied to 4,000 residents in Rajshahi for household purposes in the first year and the number of consumers would be increased gradually.
Though the work of setting up the pipeline was completed in 2010, energy secretary Mohammad Mesbah Uddin on April 5, 2011 said at a press conference in Dhaka that the government had decided not to give any more gas connection for household use in Rajshahi.
The press conference further disclosed that at the end of 2012, the demand for gas would be increased to 3,382 million cubic feet whereas the present production of gas was 2,800 million cubic feet.
As a result, the crisis of gas will continue throughout the year and no new gas connection for household use would be given, he said.
However, Shiekh Hasina during her visit to Rajshahi on November 25, 2011 declared in a public meeting that gas would be supplied to Rajshahi from January 2012.
The declaration spread hope and enthusiasm among the people of Rajshahi.
But, till May 7, 2013, the declaration of the prime minister was not implemented, which disappointed the Rajshahi people.
Zamat Khan, general secretary of Rajshahi Raskha Sangram Parishad, a pressure group, talking to New Age, also demanded gas supply for Rajshahi immediately.
-With New Age input