Power crisis hits Bagerhat hard

Power crisis hits Bagerhat hard

Bangladesh’s escalating power crisis that is delivering hours-long outages has hit Bagerhat hard—businesses are struggling to survive and students finding it hard to sit in classes.

Bagerhat town has been witnessing outages at least three to four times a day with discoms resorting to rationing of power across the country to tide over the energy crisis. The rural areas of the district are the worst hit.

Bagerhat Palli Bidyut Samity that supplies power to the rural areas faces a shortage of 25MW of electricity daily. On the other hand, West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd that powers Bagerhat town faces a shortfall of 2.5MW daily.

The scheduled and unscheduled power cuts have brought almost all businesses—from small- and medium-sized shops to factories—to their knees in Bagerhat. Production in the factories have been hit the most.

Sheikh Bashirul Islam of Bangladesh Shop Owners’ Association, urged the discoms to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the commercial and industrial hubs of the district to keep the wheels of the economy moving.

“We need electricity round-the-clock to sustain our businesses. The business areas must be kept outside the purview of load shedding,” Bashirul told UNB.

According to Bagerhat District Education Officer Md Kamruzzaman, a total of 96,774 students study across 524 educational institutions in the district.

“Due to outages, multimedia classes can’t be conducted. Besides, lights and fans remain out of order most of the time. As a result, education in the district is getting hindered,” Kamruzzaman said.

According to the power division, electricity is supplied from the national grid to Bagerhat 132/33KV power substation. This substation then supplies power to Bagerhat district and Pirojpur’s Sadar, Najirpur and Indurkani upazilas.

During peak hours, the electricity demand of the substation remains at 98MW and the shortage that it experiences is 30-35MW.

Muhammad Nurul Hossain, general manager of Bagerhat Palli Bidyut Samiti, said that they have a total of 3,40,000 customers.

“Electricity is supplied to our customers via 61 feeders. Although the daily demand is 70-75MW, our customers are receiving only 50MW of electricity. As a result, we have to ration power through outages at least four times a day,” Nurul said.

Ziaul Haque, executive engineer of Bagerhat West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd, said that they have 18,500 customers.

“The daily electricity demand from our customers is 7.5MW, but they are receiving only 5MW. To cover the 2.5MW shortage, we’ve nothing to do except resorting to outages two to three times a day,” he said.