Lpg cylinder is the best thing brings some comfort for the women in most of the villages across the country over the last few decades.From almost zero access even about a decade ago, Lpg cylinders are now used for cooking in some 30-40 percent village households, according to a seller at a village at Magura’s district. “In the next five years, it coverage will shoot up to at least 70 percent households” he said.’It saves at least one hour from our cooking time, ” young housemakers told me. There are days when a village housewife would spend hours foraging dead leaves and wood or making cowdung-laced burning stick. Lpg cylinder has liberated them. Also, its health benefit is enormous. Regular exposure to smoke generated by clay burner is one of the biggest sources of respiratory diseases, COPD and even cancer in rural areas. I asked a cousin what did she do with the extra time she had saved from cooking. “Help my children in their school homework or just watch TV,” she said.Till 2019, the number of LPG consumers was 40 lakh against 2.5 lakh in the year 2009, according to a latest government report.
Unavailability of natural gas reserve, low supply of firewood, rising income of consumers and rapid urbanisation are increasing the demand for LPG. “ It gives consumer comfort for its portability and convenience, which traditional fuels cannot, but also helps prevent pollution and the health hazards, said Ahmedul Alam, an energy expert.He said apart from households, LPG is also being used in restaurants and in different township projects with local industries also gradually shifting towards LPG for an uninterrupted gas supply.“Many vehicles are being converted into LPG from CNG because of availability. LPG enables opportunity to expand industries in the areas where there is no access to natural gas, he said.Bangladesh Petroleum Company (BPC) first introduced LPG for household purpose back in 1978. It gained popularity since 2008 after the government stopped providing new gas connections to households due to dwindling reserves of natural gas.The demand will stood up more than 25 lakh tonnes by 2025 and 35 lakh tonnes by 2030, industry insiders said. Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, said LPG is the future source of energy for next generation Bangladesh. “The government is promoting it as it is green and clean compared to many other fuels. LPG in the automobile sector will gain popularity as it is cheaper and safer.” The minister added.