Paying no fines keeping any power station idle: Nasrul Hamid

Photo shows the parliament building in DhakaFile photo

State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid has said, “Daylong nationwide power outage can only be in a dream now; power load shedding might last for several hours, but we are paying no fines keeping any power station idle. However, we must pay the capacity charge even if we do not take electricity from any power station.”

The state minister said this in reply to a query from opposition chief whip Mujibul Haque in parliament on Sunday.

In a supplementary question, Mujibul Haque said that daylong load shedding still occurs and there was no electricity throughout the day in several unions of his constituency Karimganj upazila of Kishoreganj. Summer has not arrived yet. About Tk 1 trillion has been paid in fines for rental and quick rental over the last 10 years. Since fines are being paid for keeping power stations idle, why does shortage of power, as well as load shedding occur then?

In reply, the state minister said, “I doubt his statement on power outages in his area. Every lawmaker will acknowledge that it is not true that daylong load shedding occurs in an area.”

At that time, Mujbul Haque was seen standing and disagreeing with the state minister, but his speech could not be heard as his mike was off.

Then Nasrul Hamid said a transformer or the transmission line might have experienced a glitch in Mujibul Haque’s union, and that might have taken time.

The state minister further said, "May be he (Mujibul Haque) inadvertently mentioned the daylong power outage. It was a matter of several hours. The government is working to supply electrically uninterruptedly so that power outage does not occur even for a minute, but that would take time."

In another supplementary question, independent lawmaker Serajul Islam said people involved with various industries held a meeting with the state minister and the prime minister’s advisor Salman F Rahman. The minister assured them of uninterrupted gas supply despite the rise in gas prices. They have been paying higher prices but not receiving gas uninterruptedly. Most of the factories remain closed. What will be done on this matter?

In reply, Nasrul Hamid said if the lawmaker tells him specifically which factories were not receiving gas, steps will be taken then.

He said they were trying to maintain an uninterrupted gas supply in most of the industrial areas.