Expensive rental power puts undue burden on peopleStaff Correspondent
Politicians including ruling party’s allies and experts on Monday said it would not be acceptable to burden people for the government’s wrong policy by increasing power generation through expensive fuel-oil run rental power plants.
Long persisting power crisis with power price hike were making people aggrieved, they said while speaking at a roundtable conference on Power Crisis : Public Interest organised by Workers’ Party of Bangladesh in the capital.
Power expert Mohammad Shamsul Alam, who also teaches at Chittagong University of Technology, presented the keynote paper.
Taking part in discussions, Subid Ali Bhuiyan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources ministry, said he would convey the suggestions made at the roundtable to the government.
Rashed Khan Menon, president of Workers’ Party, an ally of the ruling Awami League, said that the power issue would generate heated debate in the coming session of parliament.
Citing few case studies, Shamsul Alam said that general people, except a few consumers under ‘VIP’ power distribution coverage, were facing 50 per cent load shedding.
But people are forced to pay more and more for electricity as the government went for expensive quick rental power to meet the demand in a short time, he said.
He also said that the government entertained expensive private sector power generation including quick rental ventures and ignored low cost ways in increasing power generation by the public sector.
‘During the government’s tenure, low cost power generation in the public sector has decreased by 20 per cent while the procurement of high cost rental power has increased by 150 per cent,’ he said.
The government also ensured gas supply to the private sector plants depriving the public sector plants, thus pushing up the generation cost, he alleged.
This resulted in a huge financial deficit for the Power Development Board as it started buying more and more electricity at a high price from the private sector.
Mujahidul Islam Selim, general secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh, said the burden of higher price of electricity fell on people’s shoulder for protecting the power board from incurring losses.
Hasanul Huq Inu, president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, said that the government could have increased power generation by 1,000 megawatt through renovating the public sector power plants.
He also sought the prime minister’s intervention into the alleged corruption in the rental power generation.
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