Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government will be able to provide electricity to every house during the 'Mujib Year', which will be celebrated from March 2020 to March 2021.
"God willing, we'll be able to ensure cent percent electricity coverage within the Mujib Year. No-one will be left in the dark," she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating newly-constructed power plants and launching cent percent power coverage in 23 upazilas under 10 districts through video conferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban.
The power plants are: Anwara 300MW Power Plant, Rangpur 113MW capacity Power Plant, Karnaphuli 110MW Power Plant, Shikalbaha 105MW capacity Power Plant, Patia 54MW Power Plant, Tetulia 8MW Solar Power Plant and Gazipur 100MW Power Plant.
The 23 upazilas which came under cent percent power coverage are: Gabtali, Sherpur and Shibganj in Bogura district, Lohagara in Chattogram, Madhukhali, Nagarkanda and Saltha in Faridpur district, Fulchhari, Gaibandha Sadar and Palashbari in Gaibandha district, and Madhappur and Nabiganj in Habiganj district.
Besides, Kaliganj and Maheshpur in Jhenaidah district, Karimganj under Kishoreganj, Baraigram, Lalpur and Singra under Natore district, Barhatta and Mahonganj in Netrakona district, Bhandaria, Kaukhali and Indurkani under Pirojpur district are also coming under cent percent electricity coverage from Wednesday.
Sheikh Hasina said that apart from electricity production, the transmission and distribution are also important and the government is implementing various projects in this regard.
She requested the people to maintain austerity in using electricity as the government provides huge subsidy in this sector to give people electricity at cheaper price.
Sheikh Hasina said 234 upazilas have so far come under cent percent electricity coverage. She hoped that it would be possible to bring rest of the upazilas under cent percent coverage during the Mujib Year.
The prime minister said that after coming to power in 1996, the Awami League-led government took initiatives to involve the private sector in generating power and meeting the growing demand.
"As a result, power generation capacity was increased to 4,300MW in 2001 from 1,600MW," she said, adding that the government has also implemented massive programmes from 2009, increasing the generation capacity to 22,562 MW.
The prime minister said the government adopts all of its plans to provide the fruits of development programmes to the grassroots people.
"We're implementing all our programmes keeping an eye on that matter. That means we don't want to keep our development in urban areas or capital city, we want to change the fate of the people living in the rural areas," she said.
She said the government wants to develop the socioeconomic status of the people of the rural areas, provide employment and ensure all kind of facilities including healthcare and education.
"We've given highest priority in ensuring food security, and we've ensured that. Now, we're trying to make the people aware of food nutrition and have taken various programmes in this regard," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said everyone has to preserve arable lands for ensuring food security. "We won't beg anyone for food; we want to stand on our feet by producing our own food. We'll be self-dependent and keep our heads high in the world arena," she said.
The prime minister said the government is implementing various programmes to ensure basic rights of the people.
Later, she spoke to various sections of people from Faridpur, Natore, Pirojpur and Netrokona.
Deputy speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, prime minister's power, energy and mineral resources affairs adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid and chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on ministry of power, energy and mineral resources Shahiduzzaman Sarker, were present on the dais.
PM's political affairs adviser HT Imam, railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan, state minister for civil aviation and tourism M Mahbub Ali, state minister for information and communication technology (ICT) division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and state minister for ministry of fisheries and livestock Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru were present on the occasion.
PM's principal secretary Nojibur Rahman moderated the function while senior secretary of Power Division Ahmad Kaikaus gave a presentation on the overall development of power generation capacity.
The prime minister called upon all to work together to develop Bangladesh and materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.