Opposition MPs in Parliament on Tuesday expressed their apprehension that public outrage might occur due to the way loadshedding is increasing.
In response, State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid said he had already expressed his regret and re-quested everyone to have patience for a couple of weeks more.
The ongoing load shedding situation was discussed during the discussion on the proposed cut motion demand for the Energy and Mineral Resources Division in the supplementary budget for the fiscal 2022-2023.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid demanded the sanction of Tk 32.46 crore for the current fiscal year. 10 members of parliament proposed cut motions on his demand. Six people participated in the discussion. Rests were absent.
Jatiya Party Member of Parliament Fakhrul Imam said, “We need 14,000 megawatts of electricity, but we have installed 26,000 megawatts.And today the production is 7000 MW.”
Shameem Haider Patwari, another Member of Parliament of the Jatiya Party, said that now approxi-mately 1,500 megawatts of load-shedding is taking place.
“This load shedding will increase further. Payra power plant shut down due to bill payment.”
He mentioned that people have already paid their bills. So why is this bill remaining? He alleged that the remaining money could be the capacity charge.
“I saw in the media that the capacity charge bill is Tk 90,000 crore. Tk 20,000 crores is still remaining due. Why is the capacity charge so much? Why the contract is made in such a way that the capacity charge has to be paid. Why are poles and transmission lines not connected with power generation?”
Patwari said that there was no electricity during BNP, there were poles. Now there is electricity, but there is no pole.
Jatiya Party Member of Parliament Roshan Ara Mannan said that the country’s fuel security and elec-tricity department are under threat.
Kazi Firoz Rashid, another member of parliament of Jatiya Party, said that people are not getting elec-tricity.
“If there is no electricity, the progress of the country will stop. Agricultural production will decrease. There will be stagnation everywhere.”
“If coal or diesel could have been imported earlier, this problem would not have happened today. There is no coordination between our Ministries. We have to import coal and start the power plants as soon as possible.”
Rustam Ali Farazi said that the electricity is going out but the minister has no word.
“Why? People have to be convinced. The matter should be reported through public hearing. Information on load shedding should be provided.”
Taking part in the discussion, State Minister Nasrul Hamid said, “Covid has caused us a lot of damage. The prices of goods have increased.”
Referring to the current power crisis, the state minister said that at present country can provide 20000-22000 megawatts of electricity at any moment.
“It needs fuel. The whole world was affected by covid for two-three years. Every country is affected. Then the Russia-Ukraine war. All over the world the price of everything went up. Gas and oil were not available.”
He said that the government is trying hard to provide uninterrupted power and energy.
“There are big challenges and there will be. Our biggest challenge is capacity. How much we can save fuel and electricity. It has become a challenge for the future. It is impossible to predict when and what will happen to the world market. Whether we get continuous fuel or not,” he added.
The state minister said, currently we can generate 12,000 to 12,500 megawatts of electricity during the day. We can generate 14,000 to 15,000 megawatts of electricity in the evening during peak hours.
The minister informed that 2500 megawatts of load shedding is currently underway.
Highlighting the context of the current crisis, Nasrul Hamid said, “We could not do LC for coal on time. With the global system and economic system in mind, we could not bring the coal in time.”