Friday, 29 September, 2023

Frequent load shedding mounts public sufferings

Frequent load shedding mounts public sufferings
The scorching heat sweeping across the country for several days has made lives miserable. (Left) patients and their relatives are trying to cool themselves off at District Sadar Hospital in Gaibandha during load shedding; (Right) A rickshaw puller is taking a nap, parking his vehicle under a tree beside a road on Dhaka University campus. The photos were taken on Sunday. – SUN PHOTO

Amid scorching heatwave, public sufferings mount due to frequent load-shedding in the capital and elsewhere in the country. 

From the rural areas to urban ones, power outrage has now reached an intolerable level.

The ongoing power outage is disrupting people’s sleeping at night while it is also severely affecting the country’s trade and commerce in many ways.

Meanwhile, in such a situation, the government has decided to keep all public primary schools closed from June 5 to June 8.

In the capital, residents now have to experience power cuts almost at every alternate hour.

Students cannot prepare for exams. Sometimes medical tests cannot be done without electricity. Such tests are very important to find out the real condition of a patient.

In the wake of frequent load-shedding, sale of all kinds of electric charger fans and lights has been increased in different markets in the capital.

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

On Sunday, a lot of people were seen visiting Stadium Market in Gulistan, Baitul Mukarram, Kaptan Bazar and various wholesale markets in Nawabpur Road. And most of them were buying rechargeable lights and fans.

These buyers complain that the shopkeepers have increased the prices due to the increased demand.

Alamgir Hossain, a grocer from Dhaka's Golapbagh area, came to electric market on Nawabpur Road to buy a rechargeable fan.

In villages, it is more frequent. People in many areas took to the streets and staged demonstrations to end the load-shedding.

City-dwellers alleged that despite the increased demand for electricity during this intense heat, the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is unable to boost production due to an energy crisis.

As a result, the nation is now experiencing a daily power deficit of more than 2,500 megawatts, which triggers extensive load-shedding in the capital and elsewhere in the country.

Load-shedding is being happened for three to five hours every day on average in the capital city of Dhaka and other parts of the country.

Rural people alleged that load shedding is now occurring for 10 to 12 hours, making the problems caused by the heat and electricity shortages worse. People's sleep is being severely disturbed by the frequent power outages, which are also making them sick.

Electricity sector officials issue a warning that the load-shedding scenario could get worse if the heat stays this intense.

The Payra Thermal Power Station, the biggest power plant in the nation with a capacity of 1,320 MW, has shut down one unit (660 MW) due to a lack of coal.

Within a day, it is anticipated that the second unit would also be shut down, leaving a huge gap between supply and demand for electricity.

In order to meet the current daily electricity demand, which surpasses 15,000 megawatts, the BPDB is currently two and a half to three thousand megawatts short. In order to alleviate this issue, substantial load-shedding is occurring even at night.

In the capital, two organisations, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO), are responsible for electricity supply.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Sunday said they had been trying to ensure smooth supply of coal, gas and fuel to the power plants for the last two months but it did not work due to the ‘financial issues’.

"We need at least two more weeks to resolve the problem," he said while briefing the reporters at the Secretariat.

He said, "We know that the load-shedding situation became intolerable. We are trying to resolve it as fast as we can. The government is trying to import coal for the Payra Power Plant as soon as possible. The power plant is operating now at half of its capacity."

Expressing regrets over the ongoing situation, Nasrul Hamid said, "We had been trying to get rid of the situation in 10 to 15 days.”