Titas Gas yesterday disconnected 309 illegal connections to houses and a restaurant in Kaliyakoir of Gazipur and in Ashulia of Savar.
The crackdown came after Titas's deadline for households to cut the illegal connections on their own expired on Saturday.
The drive aims to remove around 200km illegal distribution lines installed to supply gas to around three lakh households in the capital and its adjoining districts like Narayanganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi.
Executive Magistrate ANM Badruddoza yesterday disconnected three lines at Mouchak and Lohakoir of Kaliyakoir that supplied gas to 300 households.
AM Saiful Islam, general manager of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd of Chandra in Gazipur, said there were still 73 more illegal connections that supplied gas to 15,000 households in Kaliyakoir and parts of Gazipur Sadar Upazila.
Locals of Mouchak said the illegal connections in Kaliyakoir area were set up in broad daylight and some local ruling party men and people belonging to the BNP-led alliance helped people obtain illegal gas connections in exchange for money.
People who obtained the illegal connections said they had paid Tk 60,000 to 1.5 lakh for a single gas connection. A number of Titas officials were also involved in supplying gas to homes illegally, they claimed.
Titas official Saiful Islam at Chandra said they would take departmental actions if they find any involvement of their staffs in the illegal act.
The government had stopped issuing new connections in mid-2010 following a daily supply-demand shortfall of around 500 million cubic feet of gas.
However, late last year, the government made legitimate nearly one lakh illegal gas connections that had been obtained after the government stopped issuing new connections.
This encouraged people to have illegal gas connections.
Md Nowshad Islam, managing director of the Titas, said no illegal lines would be spared during the drive. "We will conduct drives if the illegal lines are set up again. The lines connected to the network of Titas Gas are totally unacceptable."
In another drive, a team of Titas disconnected gas connections to Nayeem Restaurant and nine households in Ashulia. The team also removed around 150 feet of pipes from the area.