RANGPUR: The Rural Electrification Board (REB) has implemented massive infrastructural uplifts under nine major projects spending Taka 4,376.46 crore in Rangpur division in last ten years, reports BSS.
Under the projects, constructions of 26,261-kilometre new power transmission and distribution lines, 32 sub-stations and other infrastructures have been completed bringing 8,540 villages under electricity coverage in the division.“Rural electrification has changed the living standard and life style of the rural people in all eight districts of Rangpur division,” said Superintending Engineer (Current Charge) at REB’s Rangpur Zonal Office Engineer Manabendra Lal Mustafi.
The rural entrepreneurs have established 15,402 power-run cottage industries, small and medium scale enterprises and industries and 530 large industries creating huge jobs while farmers are operating irrigation systems to increase food production.
“We have brought 8,540 villages out of total 9,611 under electricity coverage in the division where the other 1,071 villages will get power supply soon,” Engineer Manabendra said.
The REB has already brought 30 upazilas out of 54 under its Rangpur zone in the division under cent percent power supply coverage while the process is running fast to bring the other 24 upazilas under cent percent electricity coverage soon.
Currently, the Rangpur zone of REB has a capacity of providing total 34.59-lakh power connections in Rangpur division after implementing huge infrastructural uplifts, setting up of sub-stations, facilities and supply and distribution lines.
Earlier in last 30-year period from 1978 to 2008, some 6.15 lakh residential, industrial and other category of power connections were given benefiting 5.16-lakh families in rural areas of 54 upazilas in Rangpur division under Rangpur REB zone.In last ten years from 2008 to 2018 alone, the REB has provided 18.40-lakh similar power connections raising the current number of total given connections to 24.21-lakh and beneficiary families to 30.80-lakh in Rangpur division.
The provided power connections in last ten years include 21.47-lakh residential, 1.45-lakh commercial, 29,441 charitable institutions, 15,402 cottage industries, 530 large industries, 81,763 irrigation pumps, 841 streets tights and 1654 other connections.
Out of nine projects, the REB already completed five in last ten years while works under four projects are nearing completion to provide more 15-lakh electricity connections in Rangpur division soon.
“Under the REB’s Rangpur zone, eight Palli Bidyut Samities are working to make the government’s ‘Electricity for All’ initiative a success by bringing every rural house, institution and establishment under electricity coverage,” Engineer Manabendra said.
Talking to BSS, farmers Echhahaq Ali and Aiyub Ali of Kathihara village under Rangpur Sadar upazila said they are cultivating Boro rice and other crops on their lands using own electricity-run irrigation pumps.
Chairman of Chandanpat union parisahd in Rangpur Sadar upazila Aminur Rahman many rural people have set up a small-scale engineering and welding workshop and other businesses establishments at Chandanpat Bazar using electricity.
“I run a welding workshop at Chandanpat Bazaar using electricity of REB and earn Taka 25,000 a month on an average after paying monthly electricity bills ranging between Taka 1,500 and 2,500,” said Anwarul Islam of nearby village Matiyapara.
Emdadul Haque, 45, of village Khaluapara under Sadar upazila here has set up a small enterprise at nearby Paglapeer Bazar in 2010 after getting REB’s electricity to recharge batteries for auto rickshaws using electricity.
“I am earning well after expanding my enterprise and employing three employees in the business now,” an affluent Emdadul said.