Farhana Nasrin cradled her one-and-a-half-year old daughter with one hand and tried to light the stove with the other. The baby was crying for food and the mother wanted to cook something to calm her down.
But every time Farhana lit the stove, there was hardly any fire there, much to the frustration of the 30-year-old.
“Adults can eat anything after bringing it from outside. But it’s extremely difficult to calm babies with just milk,” said Farhana, who lives in Pargandaria of the capital’s Jatrabari. “We couldn’t cook anything in the last two days due to a severe crisis of gas.”
Many areas in the city, including in Mohammadpur, Bosila, Adabar, West Agargaon, Shewrapara, Kazipara, Kafrul, West Dhanmondi, Lalbag, Sobhanbag, Indira Road, Tanti Bazar, Shakharibazar, Kamrangirchar, Uttara, Dakhinkhan, Uttarkhan, South Banasree and Moghbazar, have been going through the same for the last couple of days. It has made the residents of those areas use alternative means to cook or buy prepared food.
During winters, gas crisis is common in the city. An increase in demand, faulty supply lines and illegal connections are the major reasons for this, according to officials concern.
An official from the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited said the crisis would be gone, once the winter ended.
Sabrina Akter, who lives in Indira Road area, cooks her family’s lunch and dinner the night before. She tries her best to finish up cooking by midnight before going to bed because of poor supply of gas from morning until afternoon.
“Gas crisis is an every-day suffering for us, but it has taken a turn for the worse since this winter began,” she said. “It takes more than an hour just to boil water during the daytime.”
Jubaida Rahman of Banasree says she too cooks for her family the night before. “We can’t cook anything in the morning. We need to store our food in the refrigerator.”
Banker Sayedur Rahman, who lives in Talbagh area, said he went to his office without having breakfast at home yesterday. He had to go to a local restaurant to have food.
The restaurants, which were using alternative means like wood-burning earthen stoves to cook, were having an increased number of customers in the last couple of days, said their owners.
Shahed Alam, a businessman who lives in Kaderabad Housing in Mohammadpur, said he had to stand in a queue to buy breakfast from a local restaurant.
Contacted, H M Ali Ashraf, director (operations) at Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, said the consumption of gas in the capital has increased this winter, leading to the gas crisis.
Asked why gas supply varies in different areas, he said many areas developed rapidly, but the gas pipelines there remained old and narrow, aggravating the gas shortage.
He also said the government seemed indifferent to modify the pipelines.