Will Jalalabad Gas’s Development Project worth Tk. 91 Crore being shelved?
Abdur Razzak, Sylhet Sylhet, Nov. 15: Jalalabad Gas Ltd. has earmarked Tk. 91 Crore for the implementation of a development project for Gas Supply at Bishwanath, Balagonj and Osmaninagar Upazilas. But this project appears to be immaterialized or shelved owing to red-tapism, a reliable source said. Although the installation of transmission line of 25-Kilometre has been completed two years ago, there is no sign of introducing distribution lines in all those immigrants-studded Upazilas. Bishwanath is the first British Immigrants studded upazila, bringing foreign remittance to the national exchequer since long. So anguish has been persisting in Bishwanath in particular and also at Osmaninagar and Balagonj Upazilas in the District.
The dwellers of the three upazilas have been witnessing gas lines for two years but neither transmission nor distribution has taken place. In order to offer advantage of gas supply, Jalalabad Gas built the aforesaid transmission line but the supply has remained a dream to Bishwanath, Osmaninagar and Balagonj Upazilas in Sylhet. As there has been no distribution line set up in these upazilas, the materialization of Jalalabad Gas’s project is virtually going to tumble down.
According to Jalalabad Gas Office source, After The Grand Alliance Led by Awami League came to power in 2009, Finance Minister A.M.A Muhith and the then Member of Parliament and incumbent AL Sylhet District General Secretary Mr. Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury made a desperate attempt for developing gas supply by Jalalabad Gas which undertook project worth Tk. 91 Crore and sent to Fuel and Mineral Resources Affairs Ministry. After examining and investigating for a pretty long time in December, 2011 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s approved the said project in the Meeting of Executive Committee for National Economic Council (ECNEC). In that meeting Osmaninagar, Balagonj, Bishwanath of Sylhet District and Rajnagar Upazila of Moulvibazar have been included for easing gas supply to aforesaid upazilas in Sylhet Division. For strengthening Jalalabad Gas Ltd. further Tk. 91 Crore have been allocated to materialize the project. In that project Transmission Line would have been made by 2012 and thereafter on 17th September, 2013 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Gas Transmission Line connecting Bishwanath-Osmaninagar-Balagonj.
Under the jurisdiction of Sylhet-2 constituency, Osmaninagar, Balagonj and Bishwanath dwellers were to be given gas supply advantage and as the part of that development scheme gas transmission line from Pirizpur (South Surma) to Ilashpur (Gowalabazr) 25-kilometre was installed and simultaneously two substations were also built in order to distribute gas domestic level in all those three upazilas. Land was acquired 15 decimals for Rashidpur Substation and 9 decimals for Tajpur Substation accordingly. The Transmission pipe line installation started in January, 2013 from Pirizpur and completed at Ilashpur of Osmaninagar in July, 2013 leaving Bishwnath to Balagonj portion in complete.
But for the advantage of gas supply, pipe line of 8 inches diameter in 10-kilometres and that of 6 inches diameter line for the reaming 15-kilometres were installed. But no trace of installing distribution line is visible so for. Now the question is whether the project will be implemented or not. The Rashidpur and Tajpur Substations are now full of wild plants and reeds. It appears nobody is to supervise or look after the ongoing project. When contacted AL Sylhet District Secretary Mr. Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury said as per government order Gas Supply Extension has been suspended all over the country. He added when the suspension order will be withdrawn, gas will be supplied from door-to-door in all three upazilas in Sylhet.
Project Officer of Jalalabad Gas Engineer Mr. Jashim Uddin opined gas supply expansion has been stopped for the time being as per government order. He added with the withdrawal of suspension order gas supply extension and distribution will resume.