Sunday, 14 August, 2022

Be prudent about power use

Be prudent about power use

In the face of sky-high fuel prices in the international market, the government has taken a host of austerity measures like cutting fuel import by 20 per cent and enforcing area-based rotational load-shedding. Apparently the government has no other option but to implement austerity measures as global high energy price, which has shot up import prices of all other essential items, is eating up on the country’s forex reserve.

Currently a couple of red lights are blinking on the economic dashboard such as depleting forex reserve, current account deficit, exchange rate volatility, galloping inflation etc. Bangladesh, along with the whole world, has been plunged into this tight situation due to the Russia’s war in Ukraine. Worse still, there is no end in sight in the five-month long war; rather the world is precariously on a tightrope because of growing fear of wider war between Russia and the West.

Against this backdrop, load-shedding has returned in spite of the government’s remarkable success in power generation capacity. We welcome the decision to implement a systematic area-based fixed hours of power outage, instead of erratic power cuts. Still many are not aware of the designated hours of load-shedding in their localities, so we think the people should be alerted about the certain hours of power cuts in their respective areas. But in rural areas, the people are complaining over ten hours of load-shedding a day, which is simply beyond their tolerable limit. We think maximum power cuts should not be more than two-three hours a day. The energy austerity measures make sense and are easily manageable, but it must be implemented in a way that agricultural and industrial production does not get hampered.

The government has already asked closure of shopping malls and roadside shops except pharmacies after 8pm. But it has to be enforced strictly as most shops are still open till midnight. Unnecessary lightning is also being observed in some areas which must be curbed. Overall, the people have a responsibility to exercise austerity in power and gas usage in this time of national crisis and we appeal to our readers to do their part.