People across the country continued to experience frequent power cuts as Ramadan began Sunday although state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid promised that the power supply situation would improve from Saturday.
Most of the power consumers in Rajshahi, Chittagong, Barisal and Khulna divisions and many areas in Dhaka and Rangpur divisions experienced power cuts on three to seven occasions in the urban areas while the frequency and duration of power cuts were much higher in the rural areas on Saturday and Sunday.
At a monthly coordination meeting on Sunday, the minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the failure of the utilities concerned to increase power generation and transmission capacities.
Nasrul asked the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh to raise its transmission capacity to 15,000MW in a year or two.
The government estimated that the demand for electricity would exceed 12,000MW this year against a maximum generation of 9,471MW recorded at 10:00pm on Saturday.
In the wake of power cuts on six to 15 occasions a day, the minister said at press conference on May 25 that the utilities would increase the power supply capacity to 10,500MW which would be enough to meet the country’s demand.
The state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh managed to draw 9,471MW electricity at 10:00pm on Saturday while the Power Development Board and all other generation utilities were prepared to supply 10,055MW, said officials.
They also said that the real demand for electricity was approximately 10,500MW on Saturday during peak hours, from 5:30pm to 11:30pm.
There was about 1,000MW shortfall against the demand for power on Saturday which along with overloading problems of transmission and distribution systems forced the utilities to go for power cuts on eight to 10 occasions in many rural areas while the frequency was three to seven in urban areas including Dhaka city, the officials said.
People in many areas including Rampura, Bashabo, Mohammdpur and Old Town of Dhaka city experienced power cuts on three to four occasions on Saturday, said city dwellers.
City dwellers in Chittagong, Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi experienced power cuts on up to six occasions on Saturday and up to four occasions on Sunday until iftar, which was up to 10 occasions a day in the past two days, New Age correspondents reported.
The government attributed the damage of a tower of Ghorashal-Iswardi 230 kV transmission line, shortage of gas supplies to the power stations and suspension of operation of 10 power plants to the frequent power cuts causing immense sufferings to the people.
Source: New Age