The Financial Express

North, south-east’s access to gas: The wait gets longer

Nalka-Dhanua-Elenga gas pipeline deadline goes, yet the work is not completed

| Updated: October 24, 2020 13:01:07

Picture used for representational purpose - Collected Picture used for representational purpose - Collected

Work on the Nalka-Dhanua-Elenga gas transmission pipeline installation is not over yet even after a lapse of almost two years since the elapse of the December 2018 deadline.

Millions of people in the country's north and south-east remain deprived of getting gas connection for long due to the delay in installing a 67-kilometre pipeline.

The project cost was initially fixed at Tk 9.79 billion, which was revised downward at Tk 8.28 billion.

Sources said the project was initiated in June 2016 to supply gas to Titas franchise areas, including Gazipur, Mymensingh and Tangail, Pashchimanchal areas in Rajshahi and Sundarban areas in Khulna divisions.

State-run Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) started physical work in May 2017 to increase the overall gas flow of the national grid by building 30-inch 52-km high-pressure pipeline from Dhanua to Elenga and 30-inch 15-km from Bangabandhu Bridge to Nalka.

Of the total length, around 52-km pipeline construction is over and the 15.2-km from the west bank of Bangabandhu Bridge to Nalka is already commissioned.

Work on around 15 km along the Right of Way or ROW in Dhanua-Elenga section has not been started yet.

"We've already installed 52-km pipeline excepting 15 km, which is set to cross a portion of the forest near Gazipur," GTCL managing director Md Atiquzzaman told the FE on Wednesday.

"We're yet to get permission from forest department for using a portion of the forest land and cutting some trees, mostly banana and bamboo plants," he said.

The GTCL, however, got permission from the Prime Minister's Office for pipeline installation through the forest with assurances of the lowest possible damage to trees and environment, Mr Atiquzzaman claimed.

The government initiated the pipeline laying work under the natural gas efficiency project with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA.

"We sought permission from forest Department to cut some trees to ensure quick implementation of the project," said project director Md Samsur Rahman.

Sources said project cost might increase if the permission to cut trees gets delayed.

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