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Tuesday, March 15, 2016, Chaitra 1, 1422 BS, Jamadius Sani 5, 1437 Hijri

Unauthorised gas lifting goes on in B'baria despite High Court ban
Our Correspondent
Published :Tuesday, 15 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13
BRAHMANBARIA, Mar 14: Despite High Court's restriction, a number of illegal factories and companies, in collaboration with influential local people, are involved in unauthorised lifting of gas across Bakail and Shyampur villages of the district.
Backed by a powerful syndicate, technical persons are involved in penetrating pipes in deep areas of soil for extracting a huge quantity of gas. The lifted gas is being made available to consumers at household and factories in villages through a network of pipelines developed in the process, according to sources. 
Detailing the involvement of a group in the unauthorised lifting and supply of gas, the source said any kind of explosion in the process might cause severe accident. The unauthorised lifting and supply of gas might cause severe casualties, experts apprehended.    
Despite a ban imposed by High Court  in 2006, operation of this illegal gas lifting companies is going on unabated under the direct shelter of some influential quarters. Now, the question is raised by a cross section of people how the unauthorised gas lifting and supply continues unhindered in broad daylight. 
This dangerous situation was evolved following an incident of leakage occurred in one of the wells of Titas gas-field in Bakail, Shyampur, Anandapur and other adjacent villages under Sadar upazila during 2006. The leakage caused a wide-range spread of gas in agricultural lands across a large area including the base line of the Titas River. The danger mounted in such a way that the leaked gas came out of tube-wells and even burst out of soil this way or that way in the adjacent areas. The gas moved up terribly from the deep level of the Titas River in the form of bubble.
In many cases, fire was continuously noticed day after day in water holes sizing two to three decimal area in the paddy lands. In view of the unusual dangerous situation emerged, firstly it frightened the inhabitants, but later on people started using leaked-out gas in different ways for different purposes.
Bangladesh gas field authority branded such system of using gas as dangerous and later made a number of drives through administration to stop the malpractice in the relevant areas. But, those drives became fruitless and did not help solve the problem, according to locals.
The failure of the measures to control the illegal and dangerous business practices changed the vision of Bangladesh gas fields. They lastly came to the conclusion that ongoing crises evolved out of leakage might at any time finish the gas.
Those were the facts of days long gone by, but presently the situation moved to multi-dimensional points where the influence and the use of gas both mounted due to the unabated practices strengthened by unscrupulous syndicate.
A section of  illegal company in collaboration with influential people are indulged in lifting gas in unauthorised manner by pushing in pipes in deep soil level. The volume of extracted gas are filled in bottles and marbles that are used  by children for games and also being used in lime factories which are in many cases dangerous. Moreover, the workforce of these factories is composed mostly of women and children, the sources said.
Detailing further about the unauthorised lifting and use of gas,  the source also informed that there has been a wider network of pipes to supply gas to the villages. Supplied through illegal means, the gas from the lines is being used in cooking and other purposes on monthly payment system. 
While talking with the beneficiaries, this correspondent came to know from few owners of factories and gasline makers that the administration is being managed with money to continue the system. Even they believe that any report by journalists will not touch them because the owners are maintaining connection with the important corners.
When asked, Deputy Commissioner of Brahmanbaria Mosharraf Hossain told The Daily Observer that, "I don't know whether the factories, which were closed down, are still continuing the operation."
Measures will be taken after investigation, he added.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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