Be frugal in using electricity: PM

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 DHAKA, April 12, 2018 (BSS) -Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today renewed her call to the countrymen to be economical in using electricity saying that the government has to spend a huge amount of money to produce it.

“You’ll have to be economical in using electricity … we want that the people to use it properly,” she said while opening Bheramara 410-MW Combined Cycle Power Plant and cent percent electrification in 15 upazilas through a videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

From the same function, the premier opened innovative online training platform “Kusholi”.

The prime minister said the government takes less amount of electricity bill than the actual amount of money that is spent for producing a single watt of power. “We give a huge amount of subsidy in this regard,” she said.

“So I would like to request all to be careful in using electricity … you’ll will have to fulfil your demand by using less amount of electricity as much as possible,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said it will not be appropriate to misuse electricity considering “Sarkar ka maal daria me dhal” (throw away government property into rivers).

The prime minister also requested the teachers, students and officials to switch off the lights, fans and other electric appliances while coming out of the schools and offices. “It will not hamper your dignity, rather you can protect the government assets,” she said.

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion.

Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus made a power point presentation on the past, present and future of electricity in Bangladesh, while PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu were present.

Besides, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Tazul Islam, Jatiya Sangsad Whip Atiur Rahman Atiq, the Japanese Charge d’Affaires in Dhaka, parliament members and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office were present at the function, among others.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that she herself switched off the lights and fans of her residence. “When I come out of houses or bathrooms, I myself switch off lights and fans. It’s not hampering my dignity and there is nothing to be ashamed to accomplish own work by myself,” she said.

In this regard, the premier further said: “If you maintain austerity in using electricity, then less bill will come and you’ll have to pay less amount of money.”

She also urged the people to plug off television, laptops and mobile phone chargers while coming out of their houses. “The electric metre moves round when the red lights of these devices are on.”

Elaborating her government’s steps for setting up power plants to meet the growing demand of electricity, the prime minister sought cooperation of all to complete the projects.

She said Bangladesh will celebrate its golden jubilee of independence in 2021 when about 24,000 megawatt (MW) of electricity will be produced and “we will be able to light up every house”.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is working with a specific goal and wants to reach electricity to every district, upazila and union. “We’re working with a specific goal and the people of the country are getting its benefit,” she added.

She said the country’s power production has now increased to 16,000 MW due to her government’s various pragmatic steps. “The electricity production has been diversified as the government has taken initiatives to produce electricity from nuclear power plant, coal-based plants and solar plants,” she said.

The prime minister also criticised the past BNP-Jamaat government for not taking any steps to increase power production. “The electricity production was not increased at that time, rather it was decreased massively…the BNP government only gave the people ‘khamba’ (electric poles), nothing else,” she said.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that a son of the then prime minister Khaleda Zia had started business of construction of ‘khamba’.

The Bheramara combined cycle dual fuel power plant was constructed at a cost of Tk 3,784.98 crore. Of the amount, the government provided Tk 634.72 crore while the rest came as the project assistance.

The North-West Power Generation Company Ltd implemented the project at Bahirchar in Bheramara upazila of Kushtia.

The 15 upazilas brought under 100 percent electrification are Dhamrai of Dhaka, Nikoli of Kishoreganj, Rauzan of Chittagong, Pirganj of Rangpur, Khoksha of Kushtia, Debhata of Satkhira, Rupsha, Fultala and Dighalia of Khulna, Bagatipara of Natore, Bera of Pabna, Bianibazar of Sylhet, Dinajpur Sadar and Birampur of Dinajpur.

With these upazilas, cent percent electrification facilities were inaugurated in a total of 51 upazilas of the country.

“Kusholi” is a learning management system, which is a web-based technology or software used to plan, implement and assess a specific learning process. It will support Bangladesh’s expanding electricity needs over the next three decades while anyone can join the training from anywhere in Bangladesh. Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury also spoke on the occasion.

Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus made a power-point presentation on the past, present and future of the electricity in Bangladesh, while PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu were present. Besides, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Tazul Islam, Jatiya Sangsad Whip Atiur Rahman Atiq, the Japanese Charge d’ Affaires in Dhaka, parliament members and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office were, among others, present at the function.

Later, the prime minister exchanged views with the cross section of people of concerned districts, including government officials, public representatives, teachers, guardians, students, freedom fighters and beneficiaries through the videoconferencing.

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