A total of six companies supply electricity in the country. Of the 42.2 million consumers of electricity in the country, around 33 million are under the REB. They use 58 per cent of the total electricity generated in the country a day.
Officials of the company say the supply deficit is between 500 to 850 MW. As a result, they have to carry out power outages for three to five hours a day.
Parvin Sultana, a resident of Laxmiganj union in Netrokona sadar upazila, said that power goes out even seven to eight times a day in her area. The power outage usually lasts for half an hour to an hour each time. Power goes out even during sehri and iftar as well.
Nandan Sarker, a farmer from Dhobaura police station area in Mymensingh, said, “We get electricity for only two hours a day in our village. On some days, the power outage lasts for five hours in the night.
According to the report on REB’s power supply, the power outage is maximum in Netrokona, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Sherpur and Tangail districts of Mymensingh division. The amount of locally generated electricity is very limited in these areas. In addition, the power distribution companies are not getting enough supply from the national grid either.
For the same reason, load shedding is quite recurrent in several areas of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet. However, the situation is comparatively better in Chattogram and Barishal as there is enough generation of power locally.
Mahfuz Rashid, a resident of Keraniganj near Dhaka, told Prothom Alo that power goes out four to five times a day. It lasts for 20 minutes to an hour. While Shova Jannat from Savar said they had to remain without power for at least four hours a day.
The country recorded the highest ever generation of power on 7 April by generating 14,000 MW electricity. An official of REB said on that day too, they had to carry out 674 MW load shedding.
Lastly on Saturday, they had to carry out 511 MW load shedding. The power outage was the highest on 4 April with 854 MW load shedding.
It is difficult to maintain the generation of power amidst the crisis of gas and spike in the price of oil and coals. The demand for electricity may further increase in the coming days. In that case, we might have to carry out load shedding in Dhaka as well. Load shedding may increase after Ramadan as well. The customers have to suffer this summer
Power Development Board (PDB) chairman Mahbubur Rahman told Prothom Alo that due to shortage in gas supply, full scale generation of power is not possible right now. Efforts are being made to increase power supply by running oil-powered power plants. The situation will improve once the supply of gas increases.
Meanwhile, Trisha Samira, a resident of Dhanmondi in the capital and Farzana Neela from Kallyanpur in Dhaka have complained that power goes out for 15 minutes from time to time nowadays in their areas.
Two companies distribute electricity in Dhaka. They are - Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO). According to the officials of these two companies, the maximum demands of DPDC and DESCO per day are 1,672 MW and 952 MW respectively. They have succeeded to distribute all of that and there is no load shedding in Dhaka, they claimed
Asked about the complaints of the consumers, DESCO’s managing director (MD) Kawsar Amir Ali told Prothom Alo that there may be a power cut when the usage exceeds the acceptable range of loads. Therefore the customers should expand their load approval if needed.
Power outages can occur due to technical reasons. Actions are taken promptly to solve the problem within the shortest possible time if that happens
In this regard, DPDC executive director Abdur Rauf Khan said, “Power outages can occur due to technical reasons. Actions are taken promptly to solve the problem within the shortest possible time if that happens.”
The traders in the apparel sectors are saying that their factories in Savar and Narayanganj which are under the REB remain without power for two hours a day. They are buying diesel to run the generator to keep everything running. The PA Knit Composite Mill in Mymensingh was out of power for 6 hours and 27 minutes on 7 April. From 4 to 6 April, there was no electricity at the Nortex Textile Mill, another mill from the same area, for 25 hours in total within a span of three days.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, energy expert M Tamim, said, “It is difficult to maintain the generation of power amidst the crisis of gas and spike in the price of oil and coals. The demand for electricity may further increase in the coming days. In that case, we might have to carry out load shedding in Dhaka as well. Load shedding may increase after Ramadan as well. The customers have to suffer this summer.”
*This report appeared on the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu