The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is urging the government to cut all illegal gas connections in the country.

In a meeting with the Energy and Mineral Resources Division and the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Co., BGMEA president Faruque Hassan discussed the current situation for the apparel industry such as the supply and demand of natural gas in garment and textile industries and the future demand scenario.

For several weeks spinning mills across Bangladesh have been suffering with inadequate gas supply and low pressure which has had a knock-on effect for export-oriented industries including garment and textile sectors, says Hassan.

According to the Daily Star earlier this month, production in spinning mills during the peak season had halted due to a severe crisis of gas for overhauling at the Bibiyana gas field.

The gas pressure came down to 1 pound per square inch (PSI) to 2 PSI whereas the requirement was 15 PSI to 20 PSI, for which the production in the mills had remained almost suspended.

Hassan says unauthorised gas connections deprive the government of a huge amount of revenue and also pose a risk for fire accidents.

Moreover, illegal connections take a huge amount of gas supply, putting pressure on the main line and ultimately causing problems for the legal users including industrial sectors.

The call to the government comes as this week marks the ninth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka which killed 1138 people. It came just five months after the Tazreen factory fire in the same city, where more than 120 workers lost their lives.

Hassan assured the Senior Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the BGMEA’s all-out cooperation to the government in its drive to sever unauthorised gas connections, especially in the industrial zones.