The government is talking about load shedding, but there had been load shedding from beforehand, especially there are examples on load shedding happening in rural area for hours on end. According to a Prothom Alo report, Wednesday saw a power generation of 12,051 megawatts against a demand of 14,200 megawatts, with a deficit of 2,049 megawatts. A two hour-lead shedding is to be imposed even if balanced supply of electricity continues in urban and rural areas, but more pressure will fall on rural areas because of less load shedding in cities.

The government has called for 25 per cent electricity to be saved at government offices but no plan has been revealed on how they will do so. Only the water resources ministry out of 35 ministries issued instructions to keeping air conditioners at Pani Bhaban set at minimum 26 degrees Celsius, avoiding use of official vehicles for personal purposes, and starting office by 9:00am and leaving it by 5:00om. No other ministry has said anything yet.

According to fuel experts, if the government want to achieve its target on saving fuel, minsters, advisors and senior government officials will have to display austerity. Before advising the people to commute using public transport, they themselves have to do it. Only by setting an example can you involve people in an initiative like this. When the people will see that the policy makers and officials in the government are practicing austerity in fuel consumption, will they be inspired to follow.

In their attempts to save fuel, the government has to be careful to make sure factory production doesn’t fall. They have to ensure uninterrupted power connection in export-oriented factories. The same applies for the agriculture sector.

Along with these measures, we hope the policymakers will learn from their past mistakes. They have to admit this crisis is the result of a foreign dependent energy policy. Load shedding and austerity measures can ease the problems temporarily. For a permanent solution, there is no substitute to explore for natural gas inland and offshore and extracting.

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