No more of the PDB-REB tussle

1 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Once again we are faced with the classic case of how bureaucratic tangles stand or may stand in the way of socio-economic development of a country. A good number of industries at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar have completed their installation process and reached the stage of commencing production. Those now eagerly wait for power connection to set the wheels of production in motion.

At this critical juncture of time, two state-owned power supply agencies – the Power Development Board and the Rural Electrification Board are found to be engaged in a quarrel as to who will supply electricity to the industries. As a result of this undesirable tussle, power connection to the industrial units is being unduly delayed, halting the commissioning of the factories. Supply of electricity, from being the most thriving facilitator of industrial development, has emerged as a major barrier to it.

Apparently, the tussle between PDB and REB originated from the simple fact that the latter is the lawful authority to supply power to the area where the industrial hub is situated but it does not have the infrastructural capacity to feed the large industries. REB is reportedly able to supply power only at 132 and 33 kilovolt levels but the factories require electricity at 230 KV level. Naturally, industry owners prefer power from PDB. One does not need to be a space scientist to come to the conclusion that the agency capable of performing the job should be entrusted with the task. Yet the debate continues. Let us expect that no personal or coterie interest is at the root of the tug of war.

Fixing the tariff for 230 KV power is yet another knot that remains to be untied. Let us hope that this small knot will not turn into a Gordian knot.

The lingering debate over who will take the charge of supplying power not only delays commissioning of the industries but also sends a discouraging message to prospective investors and thus hampers the country’s much expected industrialisation process. Every individual and organisation should act prudently placing national interest above all other considerations.