Government decided not to provide new gas connections to houses in April
The High Court has issued a rule questioning why the government’s decision to not provide new gas connections to residential areas should not be declared illegal.
The court on Monday also asked why returning money instead of giving connections and the government’s inactivity to provide connections in households will not be declared illegal.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the rule during a hearing on a writ petition filed in this regard.
The bench asked the senior secretary of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Petrobangla chairman, managing directors of Titas, Karnaphuli and Bakhrabad Gas Fields to reply to the rule within next four weeks.
Lawyer Md Wazi Ullah with Azim Uddin Patwary and Afroza Sultana appeared for the petitioner’s side at the hearing while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar stood for the state.
On April 27, the decision to return money after cross-checking to those who submitted money through demand notes was taken in the monthly coordination meeting of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the ministry as no new household gas connection would be provided anymore. The government, instead, asks people to use LP gas.
On October 4, President of Chattogram Gas, Electricity and Water Consumer Unity Alamgir Nur, its Secretary General AKM Waliullah Haque and consumer MD Nurul Alam filed a writ petition challenging this decision of the government.
Petitioner’s lawyer Wazi Ullah said, according to law, the government is obligated to provide connection within a fixed time if money has been submitted through demand note for getting gas connection.
Even after the determined time has passed, the consumers did not get a connection, rather a decision to return the money was taken which is illegal, he said.
The court also questioned why directions to give gas connections to the petitioners should not be given, said lawyer Wazi Ullah.