State owned Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL) is installing prepaid meters for one lakh more residential customers in the city and in different upazilas of the district at a cost of Taka 291 crore.
Talking to the journalists KGDCL Managing Director Engineer M Abu Saklain said the Installation of these meters for KGDCL Part-2 has started from last week and it is expected to be completed by June this year.
KGDCL has around six lakh customers in Chattogram, he added.
“There are 5 lakh 97 thousand 561 residential customers in Chattogram. A total of 60,000 customers were brought under prepaid meters through the Natural Gas Efficiency Project funded by JICA in the first phase. This project, undertaken in 2015 at a cost of Taka 247 crore, was completed in 2019”, he said.
KGDCL took up the second phase of the project to install one lakh meters in February 2021 under the title ‘Prepaid Meter Installation Project for Residential Customers’.
The cost of this project was estimated at 241 crore 61 lakh taka initially. The project was originally scheduled to be completed by June 2023. After that the cost of the project increased to Taka 291 crore 49 lakh, the time extended till June 2025, the source added.
According to KGDCL sources, an agreement was signed with the Japanese company Toyokiki Company Limited on September 19 in 2021 to install 100,000 prepaid meters in Chattogram in the second phase.
In the 2nd phase, gas meters will be installed at Sadarghat, Baizid, Chandgaon, Panchalaish, Chowkbazar, Pahartali, Khulshi, Bakalia, Sadarghat, Kotwali, Halishahar, Doublemooring, Bandar, EPZ, Patenga, Akbarshah, Karnaphuli, Hathazari, Sitakunda, Patiya, Boalkhali, Chandanaish and Anwara upazilas.
Abu Saklain told BSS that the meters are being installed in Halishahar area now
“A total of 1,100 meters have been installed till February 1. Our aim will have to complete the installation of one lakh meters by December 2024. The first shipment of prepaid meters arrived from Japan on November 29 in 2023,” he added.
Gas bills of prepaid meters can be paid through mobile banking of B-kash, Sure Cash and Rocket.
Prepaid consumers will be able to purchase and recharge prepaid cards at point of sales, sources said.