Mentioning that electricity is the most essential element for the country's overall development, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would light up every house by boosting the power generation.
“It's our goal to light up every house through increased generation of electricity,” she said while inaugurating six power plants with the total power generation capacity of 1,062 megawatts and nine new grid sub-stations through videoconferencing from the Gono Bhaban.
The PM also opened power supply to Sandwip upazila in Chattogram through submarine cable, and complete electricity coverage in 12 upazilas of different districts.
She said the electricity demand went up with the improvement of socio-economic status and lifestyle of people. “So, we're also increasing the power generation capacity, keeping consistency with the growing demand.”
Around 93 percent people are now getting electricity in the country, Hasina said.
People do not need to run to and fro for having power connections as the government is taking electricity to their houses, she said, adding, “Our goal is to light up every corner of the country.”
Expressing her gratitude to the country's people for electing her party in the December 30 general election, she said, “We'll march forward upholding the confidence and trust the people put in us.”
Hasina said the Awami League government took the country towards the path of development in the last 10 years from 2008 to 2018. “Today, we've graduated to a developing country and we'll keep working to maintain the trend.”
Mentioning that the AL government is taking measures for development of all upazilas, she said, “We'll be able to build the country as hunger-and poverty-free, developed and prosperous one as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
Coming to power in 1996, the AL government made Bangladesh a food-sufficient country, boosted power generation and increased the literacy rate, and developed infrastructures, including schools and bridges which created the ray of hope among people, Hasina said, adding, “But the ray of hope had gone out after the BNP-Jamaat came to power in 2001.”
Talking about the power supply to Sandwip from the national grid, the PM said it would attract investment, accelerate industrialisation, help increase crop production, help set up agro-processing industries and unlock the potentials of blue economy.
Mentioning that Sandwip is a very beautiful island, she said tourism could be flourished there.
The six power plants inaugurated at the function are: Sirajganj 282MW Simple Cycle Power Plant, Bhola 225MW Combined Cycle Power Plant, Chandpur 200MW Power Plant, Ashuganj 150MW Power Plant in Brahmanbaria, Rupsha 105MW Power Plant in Khulna and Julda 100MW Power Plant (3rd unit) in Chattogram.
The nine grid sub-stations are: Ramganj, Barishal (north), Baraiyarhat, Shikalbaha, Jaldhaka, Sunamganj, Bianibazar, Rangamati and Matarbari.
The 12 upazilas which come under complete electricity coverage are: Harinakundu, Thakurgaon Sadar, Baliadangi, Goalanda, Kalukhali, Bamna, Lakhai, Shaistaganj, Ajmiriganj, Bahubal, Melandah and Islampur.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and PM's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury spoke on the occasion.
Nasrul said 186 upazilas came under complete electricity coverage. Around 80pc to 90pc areas of the rest of the upazilas is under the electricity coverage.
“We hope we'll be able to bring 100 percent of all the upazilas under electricity network at the end of this year,” he said.
PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function, while Power Division Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus made a presentation on the development of the power sector in the last 10 years.
In his presentation, Kaikaus said the country's daily power generation capacity was now 20,854 megawatts.
Bangladesh has now been turned into a power-surplus country from a deficit one, the secretary said.
AL senior leaders Tofail Ahmed and engineer Mosharraf Hossain were present.