BPC to monitor smooth supply of diesel for irrigation

Children take shower at irrigation pump water. The picture was taken from Borobaria in Sarishabari of Jamalpur on 16 March.Shariful Islam

BPC has launched a central control cell at its headquarters in Chattogram to monitor the supply of diesel, the main petroleum fuel for the irrigation pumps, during the coming irrigation season.

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) disclosed this at a virtual inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday. The power, energy and mineral resources ministry organised the meeting to discuss the overall preparation to facilitate the farmers ahead of the irrigation season.

Prime minister’s energy advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and state minister for power, energy and mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid were present at the meeting.

They directed the officials of different concerned organisations to take necessary measures to ensure smooth supply of petroleum to the farmers.  

Normally, irrigation for the paddy cultivation starts in mid-December every year and continues until May 15 next year.

During this period, farmers need a huge quantity of diesel to run their irrigation pumps across the country.

As per the statistics of the Energy Division of the MPEMR placed in the meeting, the current fiscal year (2022-23) the agriculture sector’s fuel consumption was estimated at 13.97 lakh (1.39 million) tons (MT)   while lube oil was estimated at 45,971 tons.

The last fiscal year (2021-22) the agriculture sector consumed 11.50 lakh (1.15 million) metric tons (MT) of diesel which was 16.64 percent of the country’s total consumption.

It was decided in the meeting that the monitoring cell will monitor the smooth supply of adequate quantities of diesel at the government-set price to the farmers at remote areas across the country.

The petroleum reservoirs of the Eastern Refinery under BPC will try to ensure an all-time stock of 1.50 lakh tons of diesel until the irrigation season is over.

The meeting was attended by energy secretary Mahbub Hossain, Bangladesh Power Development Board chairman Mahbubur Rahman , Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board chairman Md Selim Uddin, Petrobangla chairman Nazmul Ahsan, and senior officials from different organisations including BIWTA.