B’desh power crisis: Hasina addresses countrymen
Last Updated: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 14:23
Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked countrymen "not to waste electricity" as the nation plunges into severe power crisis forcing the government to enforce austerity measures including restriction on using air conditioners.

"We are currently faced with nearly 2000 megawatts of power shortage...the problem cannot be solved overnight. I urge all not to waste electricity," she told a function late yesterday as the electricity crisis subsequently disrupting the water supply process exposed her one-year-old government to a severe crisis.

Besides, she held the past Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party alliance and the subsequent caretaker governments responsible for the present power and gas crises.

She alleged that the erstwhile governments did not take any measure to resolve the energy crisis in the country.

Her comments came as lawmakers of ruling Awami League and its partners in the grand alliance have expressed fear that the commotion over power, water and gas situation may go beyond control as residents of the capital city were staging sporadic protests at different areas of Dhaka.

Earlier this week, the government had issued an order asking all private households, public and private offices, businesses, shopping malls and shops in city to keep their air conditioners switched off from 6:00pm to 11:00 pm as part of an austerity campaign.

The authorities also ordered rationing of power under a load management measure called load shedding switching off the supply to certain areas for certain periods of the day while army troops were called out to guard and monitor the water distribution systems as the distribution plants could not pump out adequate waters for want of electricity.

The state-run Power Development Board sources said they could currently produce nearly 4,000 megawatt power against the demand for 5,200.

In Bangladesh, the demand for power was increasing at a rate of eight to 10 per cent every year while the crisis intensified as the authorities were forced to divert the power to rural areas for irrigation for major Boro crop cultivation.


First Published: Thursday, April 01, 2010, 14:23

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