South Asia

Titas gas leak Bangladesh Gas Field Company Ltd has initiated operations to stop uncontrolled gas leaks from the country's biggest gas field Titas in Brahmanbaria district. Though the gas started leaking around four years ago, it has been aggravated by rains in 2006. According to local media reports, the gas was leaking through more than 3,000 big holes in paddy fields, water bodies and the river Titas.

According to the remedial plan, in the first phase the Titas field's well number 10 will be shut down and Bangladeshi exploration company Bapex will conduct a "work over' of the rig. This shutdown will reduce gas production by 15 million cubic feet a day. Currently, Titas produces 400 million cubic feet from 15 wells. If results are not satisfactory, then the gas company will work over wells number 8 and 9. It will not involve foreign experts as recommended by a government panel.

Procurement plans Sri Lanka's ministry of agriculture development has allocated Lankan Rs 2 billion (US $18.25 million) to procure paddy in the upcoming harvest season. The ministry plans to purchase 110,000 metric tonnes of paddy from the major paddy cultivating districts and has assigned the agriculture product marketing authority to conduct procurement operations. Meanwhile, the government has decided to relax taxes on 10 essential commodities including pulses, potatoes, red onions, big onions, dry chillies, sprats, gram, green gram and tinned fish.

According to a release from the presidential secretariat, the move is aimed at bringing down prices during the Sinhala and Tamil new year festive season in April.

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