When the rural areas are facing electricity crisis in hot summer, shopping malls, supermarkets and shops in the city are adorned with colorful lighting and luminous exterior settings, causing huge wastage of electricity.
Malls and shop owners decorated both the interior and the vicinity of their shops with decorative lighting since the beginning of Ramadan. This will continue till to the Eid day, the biggest religious festival of Muslims.Sources said load shedding has intensified in rural areas since the beginning of Ramadan whereas the scenario is quite the reverse in Dhaka.
Every year, the government issues directives to the shopping mall owners to limit the use illumination to curb power outage. But the directives go in vain every year. Shop owners said the government has not issued any such directive this year.
Many experts and consumers are criticising the lighting extravaganza, arguing that such waste of electricity is putting pressure on the national electricity grid, causing load shedding in other parts of the country.
Sources at the power, energy and mineral resources ministry said due to the additional lighting in shopping malls and increased use of air conditioners during the hot summer, the demand of electricity has increased by around 1,500 MW.
“People from all walks of life usually do shopping before Eid and additional lighting has become a common practice in Bangladesh which is totally unnecessary and a wage of electricity,” they said, adding that most of the shopping malls and shops use luminous lighting simply out of unhealthy competition.
Shopping malls including Rapa Plaza in Dhanmondi, Mirpur’s Shah Ali Complex, Capital Tower, Mukti Plaza, Baghdad Shopping Complex, Shezan Point and Farm View Super Market in Farmgate, Eastern Plaza, Karnaphuli Garden City, Fortune Shopping Complex, Priyangon Super Market, Holland Center, Confidence Center, Suvastu Nazar Valley and many other markets are shining with too much lights.Besides, branded showrooms, fashion houses, shops are also decorated with additional lights across the city.
Shop owners said additional lighting is being used for attracting the shoppers ahead of Eid-ul- Fitr as it is the biggest sales season of the year.
Nehal Rahman, a shop owner at Holland Center, said that it’s a common practice during every big occasion to attract the customers.
“It may be a waste of electricity, but a little lighting and decoration are necessary for letting the people know about the specialty of festival shopping,” he said.
Sabbir Rahman, another businessman at Fortune Shopping Complex, said the mega sales season will look gloomy without special lights and decoration.
Mohammed Hossain, director general of the Power cell, said the demand of electricity during Ramadan reached 12500 MW. The electricity demand has increased by 1500 MW for increased use of air conditioners and lighting, he said.