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Load shedding breaks schedule

Upto 12 hours of power cut in many areas; public sufferings mount

  • Esaraf Hossain
  • 22nd July, 2022 09:55:40 AM
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Load shedding breaks schedule

Load shedding takes place for upto 12 hours every day in many areas of the country triggering public outage, though the government authorities announced a one-hour power cut.

Last week, the government announced the scheduled load shedding across the country in a bid to save foreign exchange reserve by reducing fuel import.

The area-based power cut started across the country on July 19.

Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) published the hourly power cut schedules.

As per the announcement, the scheduled power cut is not taking place in all areas of the country, many said.

However, several areas of the capital have experienced additional loadshedding.

During an inquiry, this correspondent found that more than one hour of load shedding has been reported in the Badda area of the capital for two days.

On the first day, there was one hour load shedding in the evening, but additional power outage took place in the afternoon and night in the area.

An additional hour of load shedding was also reported in Bashundhara residential area, Khilgaon, Mugda, Hatirpool and many other parts of the capital.

In Rajshahi, areas under Rajshahi Palli Bidyut Samity have been experiencing up to 12 hours of load shedding since Tuesday, when the area-based power cut schedule came into effect. However, people of Rajshahi division complained that they are experiencing frequent power outages.

Tanore, Godagari, Paba, Mohanpur, Durgapur, Bagha and Charghat upazilas in Rajshahi district are under the jurisdiction of Palli Bidyut Samity.

“The electricity comes back every two hours. And then it’s gone after 15 minutes,” said Rezaul Babu, a resident of Charghat.

Bazlur Rahman, a resident of Bagha Upazila, said that they are facing unbearable load shedding similar to that during the Eid festival.

Rajshahi Palli Bidyut Samity General Manager Md Ekramul Haque told local journalists that power supply is less than the demand in the area.

Meanwhile, the areas under Northern Electricity Supply Company (Nesco) saw comparatively less power outage than those under Palli Bidyut.

Nesco supplies electricity to eight districts --- Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore, Chapainawabganj, Bogura, Joypurhat, Pabna and Sirajganj. Six upazila sadars are also under their jurisdiction.

According to Nesco sources, at 9pm on Tuesday, their demand was 478 megawatt, but they were able to supply 391 megawatt, leading to a power deficit of 87MW.

In 24 hours, the areas under the power distribution companies saw over four hours of power outage.

The unplanned and frequent power cut has intensified public sufferings in both rural and urban areas amid the scorching summer heat.

The regular and frequent load shedding is also hampering production in mills and factories.

Enraged by the frequent load shedding of electricity, people of many areas have already taken to the streets and staged violent protests.

Three days ago, local people staged protests blocking the Dhaka-Sylhet highway for the uninterrupted power supply.

As far as power saving was targeted, it was sufficient for one hour of load shedding.

But, the power distribution companies said that additional load shedding has to be done to meet the saving target as the wastage of consumers has not stopped.

Meanwhile, in the wake of frequent load shedding, sales of all kinds of electric charger fans and lights have increased in different electric markets in the capital.

Load shedding has also returned to the country as power generation cuts are cut to save costs amid the crisis the Ukraine war has created for the world economy amid the pandemic.

Therefore, many people are running to buy rechargeable fans in the shops due to lack of electricity in the hot weather.

On Thursday, many people were seen visiting stadium market in Gulistan, Baitul Mokarram, Ershad market in Kaptan Bazar and various wholesale markets in Nawabpur Road to buy rechargeable lights and fans.

The buyers complained that the shopkeepers have increased the prices due to the increased demand. They say the price of a fan is Tk 800-1500 and to buy light 20-Tk 30 more.

Alamgir Hossain, a grocer from Dhaka's Paltan area, came to Electric Market on Nawabpur Road to buy a rechargeable fan.

He said, "There was no concern about electricity for a long time. There has been no electricity for an hour since yesterday. Sitting in the shop for an hour in the heat has become difficult. So today I came to buy a charger fan.”