Electrification boosts rural economy in Rangpur

28 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

RANGPUR: Power-run small, medium and large scale enterprises are boosting rural economy by virtue of rural electrification in Rangpur division.

Officials of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) at its Rangpur zonal office said Eight Palli Bidyut Samities have provided around 34 lakh different types of power connections covering 31.95 lakh beneficiary families in rural areas of the division.

The provided power connections include 30.54 lakh residential, 1.90 lakh commercial, 43,552 charitable institutions, 29,299 small and medium scale and cottage industries, 712 large industries, 86,633 irrigation pumps, 835 streets lights and 372 other connections.

“Local entrepreneurs have set up 29,299 power-run cottage, small and medium scale enterprises and industries and 712 large industries in the zone,” Superintending Engineer of BREB at its Rangpur zonal office Engineer AB Mahmud Hossain said on Saturday.

Braving the Covid-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs are continuing to establish cottage, small and medium scale power-run enterprises and industries to create jobs for unemployed youths, cut poverty and improve the living standard of rural people.

“We have already brought 100-percent villages under power supply coverage in the On-grid area bringing a landmark change in living standard, rural economy and lifestyle of rural people of Rangpur division,” Engineer Mahmud said.

All 9,298 targeted villages in 514 unions in the On-grid area of BREB’s Rangpur zone were brought under 100-percent power supply networks in 55 upazilas of the division by July 31 last year also paving the way for rural people to set up and run enterprises.

“We are working to bring other 118 char villages in the Off-grid area under electricity coverage by March to make the ‘Electricity for All’, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s one of the 10 special initiatives, a complete success in the Mujib Barsho,” he said.

Taking advantage of rural electrification, entrepreneurs are running 3.07 lakh power-run commercial establishments, cottage, small and medium enterprises, agri- based and heavy industries while farmers are operating irrigation pumps in rural areas.

“The power-run enterprises and industries are booming fast to boost rural economy across Rangpur division even during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Engineer Mahmud said.

Farmer Ariful Haque of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar said he cultivates Boro rice and other crops on his lands using own electricity-run irrigation pumps. “I spend Taka 3,000 per acre of my sandy land for cultivating Boro rice using an electricity-run irrigation pump while other farmers spend up to Taka 10,000 per acre using diesel-run shallow tube wells,” Ariful said.

Anwarul Islam of village Chandanpat Matiyapara under Rangpur Sadar upazila said he set up a welding workshop at nearby Chandanpat Bazar and started welding works using electricity six years ago. “I earn Taka 20,000 a month after paying electricity bills ranging between Taka 1,500 and 2,500 per month,” Anwarul said.

Motiar Rahman of village Sreerampur in Rangpur Sadar said he runs a husking mill using electricity and crushes paddy at Chandanpat Bazar to earn Taka 15,000 monthly meeting all expenses. Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension at its Rangpur regional office Md. Moniruzzaman said rural electrification is extensively contributing to enhancing food production at reduced costs in Rangpur region to ensure food security.

Divisional Commissioner Abdul Wahhab Bhuiyan told BSS that rural electrification effectively contributes to flourishing cottage, small, medium and large scale enterprises and industries boosting rural economy despite the Covid-19 pandemic.