Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Dream of island people fulfilled

Patuakhali: The government campaign of bringing the entire country under the 100 per cent electrification marking the ‘Mujib Year’ has illuminated all the islands across the country, fulfilling the long-cherished dream of the backward section of people, reports BSS.

Since every house across the country, including Sonarampur, Ashuganj, Rangabali, Monpura, Sandwip, Hatia, Nijhum Island and Kutubdia islands, have been brought under the cent per cent electricity, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today declared the cent per cent electrification coverage in the country.

The premier made the announcement at the inaugural function of the Payra 1320MW Thermal Power Plant at Kalapara Upazila here.

While visiting the Char Mantaj, on the bank of Tetulia River about 10 kilometres away from the Rangabali Upazila near the basin of the Bay of Bengal, Julekha Begum was seen doing household chores under an overhead electricity transmission line. It’s just like a dream for us. We never thought that electric light would illuminate us, she said.

Julekha, wife of a fisherman, expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for materializing their long-cherished dream of living under electric lights.

Expressing gratitude to the Premier, Alamgir Hossain, a shopkeeper in Rangabali Upazila, said this electricity has enabled them to enjoy urban facilities staying in remote areas, which is about 10 kilometres away from the mainland.

He said this electricity facility is helping boost the rural economy, creating new scopes for employment, such as setting up factories and new businesses in the islands, along with facilitating education.

According to the Rangabali Upazila Rural Electrification Board office, a total of 25,358 families of 104 villages in six unions (each an island) in the upazila have been brought under the 100 per cent electricity coverage within 14 months from September 30, 2020, to November 30, 2021, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 

During the period, the government established 26 kilometre-long 33kv overhead transmission lines, 5.8-kilometre-long submarine cable under the Tetulia and KajalBura Gauranga riverbeds, a 10MVA power substation 1,241 kilometre-long 11KV line and 5.38 kilometre-long 11 KV submarine cable under the Galachipa and Tetulia riverbeds at a cost of Taka 250 crore.

Rangabali Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Mashfakur Rahman said the whole upazila has been brought under the cent per cent electricity within only 14 months as part of the government’s inclusive development activities.

He said the electricity facility in the island Upazila has rapidly changed the outlook of the chars as it has created huge scopes for new employment.

Noting that the upazila has around 14,000 fishermen, he said earlier they had to bring ice from Golachipa or other parts of the district for preserving fish, but the electricity has helped to set up ice factories in the islands, thus, fishermen are getting ice easily.

Besides, many people started the business of electric products, which was unimaginable just one year back, Mashfakur said, adding that electricity is also playing a vital role in boosting the production of agricultural goods.

Farmers of Rangabali upazila approximately produced watermelon worth of Taka 500 crore in the last year, he said, adding it has been possible for irrigation and the irrigation was possible for availability of electricity.