Friday, 20 May, 2022

BNP muzzled public protests for electricity with bullets: Joy

While the scorching heat of the Bengali month of Kartik caused unbearable suffering for people during the holy month of Ramadan in 2005, incessant power outages worsened due to the corruption of BNP leader Tarique Rahman in the power sector putting people to their breaking point, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

Referring to the 2005-Ramadan period, he wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday, Dhaka city was badly suffering from load-shedding, let alone the other parts of the country, reports BSS.

People, finally, got agitated amid acute power crisis even during Iftar, Tarabi and Sehri. But at that time, Tarique Rahman, son of then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, embezzled thousands of crores of money in the name of erecting electric poles - plunging the country into the darkness and gas crisis during the BNP rule, he said.

The Awami League government increased the power generation capacity to 4,300 MW after assuming power in 1996, he said, adding but rampant corruption of Tarique Rahman during BNP rule brought the capacity down to only 3,200 MW - half of which was supplied to some elite areas of Dhaka, and the other half was allocated for the whole country.

As a result, the country witnessed unprecedented power shortages even in winter from 2001 to 2006, affecting the agricultural and industrial sectors of the country, he said.

During the BNP-Jamaat misrule, teachers in Dhaka had to take school classes by lighting candles during the day regularly, he said adding that the lack of electricity also disrupted water extraction in the city, causing unbearable public suffering that led to protests in the capital.

Twenty villagers were shot dead all because of protesting in demand of electricity in Kansat of Chapainawabganj in January 2006, he further said.

Farmers became dependent on diesel-powered irrigation pumps for cultivation due to the lack of electricity in the rural areas then. Taking the chance, the ‘Hawa Bhavan’ syndicate also hiked the price of diesel and fertilizer.  However, people started waging protests in different parts of the country against the corruption and anomalies of the Tarique-Mamun gang, he said.