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Bangladesh - 4 weeks ago

Surplus electricity, but outage not gone

Farmers, industrialists worst sufferers

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Though, the government has announced to create a record by bringing the whole country under cent percent electrification coverage before the start of the Ramadan, the authorities concerned could not ensure smooth supply of electricity everywhere. In addition, abnormal power outage has now caused of immense suffering at different places in the country. Not only that, industrial production is being hampered due to frequent power cut, while farmers are facing trouble to irrigate their Boro croplands, many complained.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially announced 100 percent electrification across the country on March 21. On the same day, she inaugurated country’s largest 1,320 MW coal-fired Payra thermal power plants.
According to the sources, power generation capacity has increased five times since the present government took power. Initiatives have been taken to increase the power generation capacity to 25,199 MW in 2025 and 33,708 MW in 2030. When the present government took power in 2009, only 4,942 MW of electricity was generated. At present, the generation capacity is 22,514 MW and the demand is 12,500 MW. Surplus power generation capacity is 10,000 MW according to the capacity. Even after so much power surplus, power is being cut off frequently in the country’s cities and villages. Farmers are suffering due to power outage in the current Boro season.
In big cities, including the capital, however, the amount of distraction is less. The power distribution lines are the main problems in this context. Power connections have been extensively provided in
recent years, but the capacity of transformers and lines has not increased at that rate. As a result, even though the power generation capacity is surplus, consumers are not getting uninterrupted electricity. As the heat increases, so does the power outage. However, this suffering of electricity is not due to load shedding or production deficit. Officials of the concerned power department said that, the power outage was due to a technical fault.
While talking, many bank officials claimed that, their normal activities are hampered due to shut down of bank servers caused by frequent electricity outage. The functioning of the bank has to be managed by running the generator. Customers are also harassed regularly for want of smooth supply of electricity. Many could not work in different offices and different newspapers due to lack of power supply and internet connections.
During the tenure of the present government, power generation has increased, consumers have increased and transmission capacity has also increased. However, the capacity of the distribution line did not increase at the rate it needed to as the electricity connection has been provided at a massive rate. Distribution lines have also been drawn. The power of the transformer has not been increased. That is why, consumers in many places are not getting uninterrupted electricity. Not getting quality service. Uninterrupted electricity has not yet returned to normal in the industry. Although. there is relief in electricity in the city, there is still misery in the rural areas. Especially when the weather is a little bad, the power goes out and did not come back easily.
As a result, even if there is surplus electricity, it is not going to reach the customer’s house uninterruptedly.
According to the power department of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, the average daily electricity demand is around 12,500 MW. The captive and renewable energy stands at 16,340 MW from 4,942 MW power generation capacities in 2009 to present. There is no shortage of electricity compared to the demand. Even after that, in some areas of the capital, power outages are happening once or twice a day and night. Sudden power outages are surprising the general public. Power outages are especially high in remote areas. Due to this, the farmers are suffering in the current Boro season.
Complaints of power outages have been received several times day and night in the last one month from many areas of old and new Dhaka including Karwan Bazar, Bashundhara, Jatrabari, Shanirakhra, Rayerbagh, Matuail, Donia, Demra, Khilgaon, Basabo, Rampura, Banasree, Mugda, Banagram, Wari. .
There are also more complaints from customers at different district levels of the country. The power department claimed that power outages have occurred in some areas due to the recent commencement of Boro cultivation across the country. However, consumers complained that, apart from storms and rains, power outages are also taking place in good weather.
ATM Harun Aur Rashid, Director (Operations) of Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) claimed that the power situation has improved a lot. He said, most of the distribution lines in the capital are old. There are also tree-plants on the lines. When there is a storm or a little too much wind, the branches of trees fall on the line. Then, the power outage occurs, he added.
In this regard, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said that, “The ministry has taken a plan to spend Tk 30,736.38 crore to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity to the customers by strengthening the transmission and distribution system in the next financial year. Some 48 power plants with a capacity of 16,875 MW are currently under construction. Agreements are being signed for 12 power plants with a capacity of 2,785 MW. Besides, tenders for six power plants with a capacity of 650 MW are in the process.”
He also said that, there are plans to set up 16 more power plants with a capacity of 19,100 MW in future.

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