Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) will ensure 100 percent electricity coverage in the country to mark ‘Mujib Barsho’, the centenary of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth. Apart from ensuring 100 percent electricity coverage, to mark the ‘Mujib Barsho’ it has already set eight targets in order to provide improved and quality service to users and create skilled manpower in the rural areas, REB officials said.
“We have already set eight targets on the occasion of 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, which will be celebrated as ‘Mujib Barsho. And we will observe the Mujib Barsho as service year,” REB director Mohammad Anwar Hossain said. The other targets are: ensuring 100 percent electricity coverage; continuation of 'Alor Feriwala' programme to resolve customer harassment; ensuring uninterrupted power and implementing ‘Amar Gram Amar Shohor’ programme.
In addition, enforcing 'zero tolerance' policy against corruption; introducing 'paperless office' to build 'Digital Bangladesh'; establishing eco-friendly 2,000 Solar Irrigation Pumps; improving the strength of youth - enrichment of Bangladesh to develop skilled manpower through training. According to the REB official, deputy general manager (DGM) conference of 80 Palli Bidyut samities under the BREB, will be held at BREB headquarters of in the capital on July, 13. More than 300 DGMs will participate in the conference, at which, the BREB chairman will instruct the DGMs to implement the eight targets on the occasion of ‘Mujib Barsho’.
Before the scheduled time, the government wants to ensure electricity for all by next year. Currently 93 percent people are under electricity coverage, an official said. Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) Chairman, Major General Moin Uddin (Retd) told Bangladesh Post, “around 326 upazilas out of 461 upazilas are now under 100 percent electricity coverage. We are trying to supply electricity to all the remaining upazilas. God willing we will be able to supply 100 percent electricity by December, 2019.”
A BREB official said, they have taken an initiative for creation of 50 kinds of electricity-based small businesses. Around 200 entrepreneurs will be given business-related equipment, 2200 people under five Palli Bidyut samities will get different electricity and business-related trainings. It will be implemented by 2020 on a pilot basis.
Project Director, Sharmin Mahmud, told Bangladesh Post, ‘We want to improve rural life by efficient use of electricity. That’s why the project has been taken up. Under the project, opportunities will be created for 50 kinds of electricity-based small businesses such as IT-based business and agro-processing industry.
Small scale local garments, automated rice husking, fish storage, repair and maintenance of electrical equipment and others are also included’.
‘200 trainees will get business related equipment worth taka one lakh. Besides, five help centers will be set up under the project. We will be trying to ensure around 30 percent women participation in this project, ‘she added. “We hope the project will help to improve rural life. If we are successful with the pilot project, it will be expanded countrywide,” she said.
On the other hand, BREB will install 2,000 environment-friendly solar irrigation pumps for marginal farmers by 2020, which will sell at half the price of project cost, and in 10-year installments. The project was approved by the ECNEC on May 29. Project director Mohammad Sakil Ibne Sayeed told Bangladesh Post, the project will help to meet diverse energy demands, improve livelihoods because of less pollution, and result in savings from the reduction in diesel use for irrigation and other agricultural activities.
It will also help the marginal poor farmer. ‘The entrepreneurs have to pay 49.45 percent of total project cost. Of this, 15 percent is down payment and the rest amount on simple term loan at low interest which will have to be paid in 10 years. After 10 years the farmer or entrepreneurs will be owner of the pump,’ he added.
Sakil also said, solar pump can provide continuous irrigation water for more than 20 years, and runs on sunlight. That is why there is no fuel cost. An entrepreneur will earn around taka 3,000 on 1 bigha a year under solar pump. A BREB official said, the pump capacity will be 2.2KW to 11KW, which will irrigate 21.33 bighas to 106.66 bighas. The total value of 2.2 KW solar pump project is around taka 9.63 lakh.