PM vows to develop entire country, illuminate all houses

DHAKA, Feb 6, 2019 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated six power plants and nine grid substations having capacity of 1062 megawatts (MWs), reiterating her determination to develop the whole country and illuminate its all houses.

“Our aim is to spread light of development everywhere and illuminate every house of the country soon,” she said while opening the power plants and grid substations through a videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

Through the same function, Sheikh Hasina also launched the power supply to Sandwip upazila in Chattogram through submarine cable, the first of its kind in the country, and cent percent electrification in 12 upazilas.

The prime minister renewed her call to the people to be economical in using electricity, saying that it will be good if they switch off light in their own hand.

“We’re producing electricity spending a huge amount of money. So all will have to keep in mind that the electricity is not misused,” she said.

After finishing the work, Sheikh Hasina said, the students, teachers,
government officials whoever might be will have to switch off fan, lights in their own hands to save electricity.

Referring to her party’s election manifesto, the prime minister said the motto of her government is to develop the entire country and turn every village into town.

“We want the people of every village to get civic amenities and nobody think about going to towns … we will build every village in this way,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said there will not be a single person to remain homeless in the country. “We will construct house for everybody,” she said, seeking cooperation and doa from all to keep up the country’s development spree.

PM’s Energy Adviser Dr Towfik-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu spoke at the function.

Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus gave an overview on the overall development in the power sector, while PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function.

Former ministers and Awami League senior leaders Tofail Ahmed and Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, state minister for religious affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, former state minister Mirza Azam, ex-deputy minister Abdullah Islam Al Jakob and parliament members of the concerned areas were present at Ganabhaban.

Later, the prime minister talked to the cross section of people including public representatives, government officials, teachers, religious leaders, students and underprivileged people of Sirajganj, Cox’s Bazar, Bhola, Rangamati, Rajbari and Sandwip of Chattogram.

While talking to the people of Sandwip on the occasion of the power supply to the island through submarine cable, the prime minister also responded positively to their long-standing demand for construction of a bridge connecting Sandwip and Mirsharai upazilas.

“We’ll have to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed bridge that which place is suitable for it, how the draft is, whether the construction of the bridge is possible and the soil is stable,” she said.

She added: “These issues will have to be addressed after examining those, we will construct the bridge … there will be no problem.”

While talking to the people of Cox’s Bazar, the prime minister said her government is creating a hub for power production in the district which will reach every area and upazila of Cox’s Bazar district.

“The electricity of the district will also be taken up to the Chittagong
Hill Tracts,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Cox’s Bazar Airport will be developed and modernised further to turn it into an international one. “Cox’s Bazar is a tourist place and we want to develop it further,” she said.

About the influx of a huge number of Rohingyas into Cox’s Bazar, the prime minister said the people of the area are enduring this problem. “I extend my thanks to the people for having patience on the issue and cooperating the Rohingyas,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is very much sincere to develop the areas where the Rohingyas took shelter and improve the living standard of the people of those areas.

While talking to the people of Rangamati, the premier said the government will construct residential schools for the students of remote areas of the region.

She said the government has already made arrangements so that the hill people get three times compensation for land acquisition like the plain land people.

About the development of weavers of Sirajganj, Sheikh Hasina said her previous government during 1996-2001 tenure introduced microcredit for them.

“The facility still continues and I want the amount to be increased in
future so that the weavers can produce quality clothes,” she said. In this connection, the prime minister asked the weavers to focus on design, fashion and colour so that their products are made time-befitting.

The six power plants inaugurated by the prime minister today are Sirajganj 282MW Simple Cycle Power Plant, Bhola 225MW Combined Cycle Power Plant, Chandpur 200MW Power Plant, Ashuganj 150MW Power Plant, Rupsha in Khulna 105MW Power Plant and Julda in Chattogram 100MW Power Plant (3rd unit).

The nine grid substations are Ramganj, Barishal (North), Baroiyerhat, Shikalbaha, Jaldhaka, Sunamganj, Bianibazar, Rangamati and Matarbari.

The 12 upazilas which came under cent percent power coverage are
Harinakundu, Thakurgaon Sadar, Baliadangi, Goalanda, Kalukhali, Bamna, Lakhai, Shaistaganj, Ajmiriganj, Bahubal, Melandah and Islampur.

According to officials of the power ministry, a total of 306 upazilas have so far been brought under cent percent electricity coverage.

Of them, cent percent electrification was inaugurated in 263 upazilas, while it will be launched in the rest of 43 upazilas by June this year, the officials said.

While talking at the event, Dr Kaikaus said as many as 92 per cent people have been brought under electricity coverage as the country achieved capability of producing 20,854MW electricity.

“Bangladesh has now been turned into a power surplus country from a deficit one thanks to inauguration of 100 new power plants over the last 10 years,” he said.