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Users to get prior info on load shedding in Ramadan

Published : 05 Apr 2021 09:40 PM | Updated : 06 Apr 2021 01:09 AM

Electricity users will get advance information about load shedding in the upcoming Ramadan. 

In this case, only during ‘Sehri,’ ‘Iftar’ and ‘Tarabi’, it will be informed whether the electricity will go off (load shedding). 

Power division has taken the decision at a meeting on Sunday on the power supply situation in Ramadan, sources said. 

The power division has been saying for the last few years that they are very close to uninterrupted power supply. But, consumers of few areas are still suffering due to power disruption. Especially in Ramadan, it is seen that the electricity goes off suddenly during the prayers of Tarabi, Sehri and Iftar. So, every year such a meeting is held before Ramadan. 

According to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), the country's power generation capacity (grid connected) is now more than 20,000 MW. In contrast, the country is generating a maximum of 13,000 megawatts of electricity. But during Ramadan, the demand could rise to 14,500 megawatts. As such, more than 1,500 megawatts of electricity will be required. It is feared that if the generation does not increase, the same amount of load shedding will have to be done. However, though the country has surplus of electricity, power generation is being hampered due to gas shortage and limitation of transmission and distribution lines. 

Prime Minster Energy Advisor’s Tawfiq-e Elahi Chowdhury was present as chief guest at the online inter-ministerial meeting on the power supply situation in the upcoming Ramadan and the current summer season.

He said, "Even if we have surplus of electricity, we will not waste electricity unnecessarily. Those involved in power generation or other emergency work need to be vaccinated against coronavirus immediately.”'

Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, said that there should be no harassment of consumers regarding the electricity bill. Overload problems need to be resolved quickly. Instructing Petrobangla to supply gas as per the demand of the Power Development Board, he said alternative measures would have to be taken if necessary.

In the virtual meeting, several instructions have been given to keep the power supply situation normal. As per the instructions, gas supply to the power plant should be maintained, necessary measures should be taken to generate power as per the demand during peak hours (evening), load shedding should not be done during Iftar, Tarabi prayers and Sehri and if necessary, the public should be informed about load shedding in advance.

In addition, all power distribution companies should be inspected for replacement of overloaded transformers, adequate stock of transformers should be kept in the store, illegal disconnection activities should be intensified, publicity in electronic and print media should be made to make people aware of energy saving, replacement of LED lamps. 

The meeting also decided not to use extra lights in markets, petrol pumps and CNG gas stations, to limit the use of ACs in shopping malls and commercial establishments during Iftar and Tarabi, and to conduct mobile courts to ensure marketing of equipment in accordance with BSTI standards.

Among others, senior secretary of the Energy Division Anisur Rahman, Power Secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman Belayet Hossain, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (REB) Chairman Moin Uddin, Petrobangla Chairman ABM Abdul Fattah and Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain also attended the meeting.