Sunday, 01 Oct, 2023


Frequent power outages worsen public sufferings

News Desk |
Update: 2023-06-05 12:46:41
Frequent power outages worsen public sufferings

Sufferings of the people have intensified as the country experiences a severe heatwave along with frequent load-shedding.

Power outages have become unbearable, affecting both rural and urban areas.

The ongoing electricity shortage is not only disrupting people's sleep at night but also significantly impacting trade and commerce. In response, the government has decided to close all public primary schools from June 5 to June 8.

In the capital, residents face power cuts nearly every other hour.

Students struggle to study for exams, and essential medical tests that require electricity are sometimes delayed, hindering accurate patient diagnoses.

The frequent load-shedding has led to a surge in sales of electric charger fans and lights in various markets in the capital. Many people are purchasing rechargeable fans to cope with the hot weather and lack of electricity.

Besides, some are thronging to markets to buy AC, IPS (Emergency Power System) and generators to fight against frequent power outages. 

On Sunday, numerous individuals were observed shopping at Stadium Market in Gulistan, Baitul Mukarram, Kaptan Bazar, and several wholesale markets on Nawabpur Road, primarily for rechargeable lights and fans. Customers complain that shopkeepers have raised prices due to increased demand.

In rural areas, power outages are even more frequent, prompting residents to protest and demand an end to load-shedding.

Despite the high demand for electricity during the heatwave, the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) struggles to increase production due to an energy crisis. Consequently, the country faces a daily power deficit of over 2,500 megawatts, resulting in widespread load-shedding.

Load-shedding occurs for an average of three to five hours daily in Dhaka and other parts of the country. Rural residents report outages lasting 10 to 12 hours, exacerbating the issues caused by heat and electricity shortages, disrupting sleep, and causing illness.

Officials in the electricity sector warn that the load-shedding situation could worsen if the heat persists.

The Payra Thermal Power Station, the country's largest power plant with a capacity of 1,320 MW, has shut down one unit (660 MW) due to a coal shortage. It is expected that the second unit will also shut down soon, creating a significant gap between electricity supply and demand.

The BPDB is currently short by two and a half to three thousand megawatts to meet the daily electricity demand, which exceeds 15,000 megawatts. As a result, extensive load-shedding is taking place, even at night.

In the capital, the Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO) are responsible for electricity supply.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Sunday said the government has been trying to ensure a smooth supply of coal, gas and fuel to the power plants for the last two months but it did not work due to the ‘financial issues’.

"We need at least two more weeks to resolve the problem," he told the reporters at the Secretariat.

Nasrul said, "We know that the load-shedding situation became intolerable. We are trying to resolve it as fast as we can. The government is trying to import coal for the Payra Power Plant as soon as possible. The power plant is operating now at half of its capacity."

"We had been trying to get rid of the situation in 10 to 15 days,” he hoped.

BDST: 1246 HRS, JUN 05, 2023

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