Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh is now in talks with its neighbouring countries to import electricity to meet the growing demand.
“Discussions are on with India, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal to import hydro-power to meet our demands; we’ve taken that initiative,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating four power plants, eight 33/11 KV GIS sub-stations, and hundred percent electricity supply at 10 upazilas in seven districts across the country through video conference from her official residence, Gono Bhaban.
She said Bangladesh has already imported 600MW electricity from India. “We’re thinking of investing in Bhutan, negotiations are on for that. We’re also planning to invest in Nepal.”
Sheikh Hasina, also the power, energy and mineral resources minister, said the government wants to illuminate the whole country with electricity. “No village will remain in the dark.”
“We’re providing subsidy. Please don’t waste electricity. We’re giving electricity at half of its production cost. It’s not right to provide subsidy this way, but we’re doing it for the welfare of people,” Hasina said.
Recalling the days of BNP-Jamaat regime, she said they had just taken the country backward in all sectors, including power, and this is their character. “We’ve undertaken development programmes to meet the demands, ensure poverty-free Bangladesh, and provide electricity to all.”
The PM said the development of power sector is crucial, adding that “Electricity creates job opportunities.”
Hasina said only developing the capital city is not the government’s aim. “Providing developed facilities to all houses is the prime task of our government. To free the country from poverty is our aim, and we’re working towards that target.”
The inaugurated power stations are Baghabari 200MW power station, Jamalpur 115MW power station, Bogra 113MW power plant and Kaptai 7.4MW solar power plant.
PM’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister Nasrul Hamid, and Asian Development Bank Country Director Manmohan Parkash were also present.
Later, the PM talked to beneficiaries of the power stations through video-conference.