Off-grid areas to be illuminated by ‘Mujib Borsho’

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By Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo

DHAKA, Jan 19, 2021 (BSS) – Every household of the country will be lit up by the “Mujib Borsha”, as all off-grid and char areas are set to be brought under the electricity coverage during the period.

“Off-grid and char areas would be brought under electricity facility by ensuring cent percent coverage of power during the Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told BSS.

He said currently 99 percent people of the country are getting electricity facility, as the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to ensure balanced electrification development at all places across the country.

According to a Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) official, the hard to reach areas of Patuakhali’s Rangabali, the lone off-grid upazila in the country, have finally been brought under electricity coverage.

The off-grid upazila island in the Bay of Bengal will get power following BREB’s 100% electricity coverage programme commemorating the Mujib Borsho, he said.

The official said all 461 upazilas on grid were brought under 100 percent coverage, while 1059 off-grid villages will come under the same programme by the Mujib Borsha.

He said, the BREB has been working to bring 1059 off-grid villages including Char Kukri Mukri, Tajumuddin, Rangabali, Char Kajal, Char Biswas, Mujib Nagar and other remote villages under cent percent electrification. The off-grid areas are located in 68 upazilas in the country.

Apart from this, Nasrul Hamid also asked the distribution companies to go to the people with services across the country.

According to ministry source, since return to power, the present government constructed 114 new power plants having generation capacity of 19,479 MW in the last 12 years after taking time-befitting, realistic and sustainable steps. The power generation capacity reached to 24,421 MW, which was only 4,942 MW in 2009.

It said the transmission line capacity has been increased to 12,494 circuit line kilometres while the distribution line enhanced to 594,000 kilometers. The number of total electricity consumers has been reached to 3.91 crore, and per capita power generation reached to 512Kwh. The irrigation connections were also raised to 3.62 lakh during the Awami League-led government tenure.

Besides, with the dynamic leadership, the power sector has successfully brought down system loss to 8.73 percent from 14 percent, the ministry source said.

Meanwhile, there were 87 projects under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in 2020-2021, of which 34 schemes fall on the high priority list, 26 on the medium priority list and 27 projects on the low priority list of the finance ministry. The ADP allocation is Taka 26,546 crore to implement power sector schemes with efficiency.

Talking to BSS, Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain said that the present government has achieved tremendous success in the enhancement of power generation capacity to make the country self-reliant in electricity supply and help reach power to every house.

He said the government has a plan to generate 60,000 MW by 2041, while power generation capacity has currently been reached to 24,421 MW including captive and renewable energy.

The state-run Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) has been engaged in developing renewable energy and energy efficiency activities in all public and private sectors. It has recently launched a program to generate 500 MW of solar-based electricity for the national grid.