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State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid has asked the officials of the ministry and subordinate bodies to remain alert to ensure uninterrupted power and gas supply during the countrywide general holidays, the government-declared to prevent coronavirus.

“We have to stand by the people in any emergency and continue our services, especially in the hospitals during the emergency situation”, he told media through a video message the ministry sent on Tuesday, reports UNB.

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The state minister also said he has already made a workplan and asked the officials how to handle the situation if any lockdown is imposed.

Nasrul said his ministry has been working on it following the outbreak of coronavirus globally and sensing the situation in the country.

He said the emergency services like supply of power, gas and LPG have to continue across the country so that people don’t not suffer in any situation.

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Nasrul Hamid further said that the demand for electricity and petroleum have decreased substantially due to suspension of production in factories and transport operation and the government has to incur a loss for this.

The government would not get about Tk 40 billion as power and gas bills at regular time as bill payment time has been extended for the people considering the coronavirus outbreak, he added.

The state minister also said that the power, energy and mineral resources ministry will provide protective equipment to different departments with the help of different private power plant operators to facilitate medicare services to the coronavirus patients.

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He said the power and energy ministry has to take measures for its own staff and foreign nationals who are working in different power plants.

“We’ve to think about the safety of our staff working in power plants and other establishments engaged in emergency supply.”

He noted that about 9,000 foreign nationals work in the power plants regularly but now the number has come down to about 3,000.