PEOPLE have started facing power outage. They have, in fact, been so doing for about a month as temperature started going up with the summer yet to set in well. The situation has already become so bad that in cities, the capital included, people keep facing power outages for about more than half an hour three to five times day and in rural areas, the frequency of power outages reaches up to 12 times. Officials blamed the public sufferings caused by frequent power outages onto the shortage of gas supply to power plants and summer storms that harm the power distribution network. The Power Development Board could supply, as New Age reported on Saturday, about 9,800MW of power during peak hours, between 6:00pm and 12:00am, against the demand for 11,000MW on the supply of gas that hovers around 26.9 million cubic metres a day. The power board hopes to be able to generate 11,000MW of power beginning in May, but a recent power board estimate says that the demand for power would then go up to 12,5000MW. With no glitches in transmission and distribution, the demand is feared to go up further.
Disruption in distribution in some areas where the network has been harmed by storms has also been blamed for the high frequency of power outages in the areas. The network being harmed has held back the power board from supplying power to the areas on safety grounds. There is, therefore, no respite from frequent power outages in sight very soon as the temperature would be going up further and with the summer well set in, there could be more storms hampering distribution. The power board has, however, a means to minimise power outages if the government diverts gas supply from fertiliser factories to power plants. The situation calls out the government on working out a schedule to do so and the government should do it immediately to afford people some relief. The power board should also make the preparations to fix any problem that might take place in the distribution network in the event of storms. The sorry power supply situation has also added to the public suffering as it holds back the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, or other such utility agencies outside the capital, from running the water pumps for the duration they are needed to run. But as these are issues, recurring every year, that utility agencies know beforehand, they should have plans in place on how to tackle the issues.
While the government must immediately work out plans to divert gas supply from fertiliser factories to power plants, the utility agencies must also have the preparedness to deal with any disruption in the distribution network as soon as it takes place. All agencies concerned must sit together to make the process smooth and easy in addition to having plans if issues go beyond the means. The government must also think about having cheap ways to generate power.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Editorial