Load-shedding situation: Reality contradicts minister’s claims
Even though the countrywide power cuts are statistically more frequent at the moment compared to last month, State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid announced that load-shedding has decreased.
He said this while briefing journalists from his home on Friday.
"Load-shedding has decreased from before, but it is still approximately 700-800MW per day," he said.
Data on the daily load-shedding from Power Grid Company Ltd (PGCL) refute both claims.
On that day (October 7), the power outage was 964MW, or eight percent of the total demand, which is slightly more than the 932MW that the authorities had estimated.
A similar pattern can be seen for the entirety of October.
Discounting last Tuesday when a grid failure caused a blackout in half the country, load-shedding on any day last week has been more than that in any day in September.
On Thursday, it was nine percent of demand or 1,184MW. On that day, Dhaka suffered more outages among all divisions -- 429MW.
The day before, the authorities estimated that approximately five percent of the demand would have to be shed. The actual outage was more than double that of that -- 11 percent or 1,375MW.
According to the load-shedding schedule released by Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited for yesterday, most places in Dhaka and parts of the suburbs covered by the company would have experienced power cuts between three and five times in 24 hours.
Narayanganj's Fatullah would have experienced the most outages; about eight times in those 24 hours.
Places in Azimpur, Dhanmondi, Demra, Khilgaon, Moghbazar among others would have experienced outages about five times.
Some of the load-shedding were scheduled after as late as 11:00pm.
In comparison, power cuts in September were less than what was experienced just this week.
Data shows that last month, there were as many as 19 days with almost no load-shedding at all.
On other days, the rate of shedding hovered between two and four percent of the estimated demand.
It was only towards the end of the month, on September 23, 25, and 28, that load-shedding began to get more prominent, with outages over 700MW.
September 1 had the highest demand for electricity (14,026MW) and no load-shedding.
The current demand is 1,350MW less but the government is unable to deliver, resulting in more outages.
Bangladesh Power Development Board's Member (Generation) Mohammed Ashraful Islam attributed the outages to "caution".
"Since we experienced a trip in the grid, we are wary of the load. We are generating about 10,000 megawatts of electricity every day and aim to take it up to 12,000."