Power cuts, low voltage disrupts life in Rangpur division

Zakir Hossain . Rangpur | Published: 23:45, Jul 25,2018 | Updated: 00:19, Jul 26,2018


Most people in Rangpur division have been facing random power cuts and low voltage for hours following closure of the last unit of Barapukuria Coal Fire Power Plant since Sunday due to disappearance of 1,48,000 tonnes of coal.
Power supply disruption tormented people in eight districts of the division in the past month because of closure of two of the three units of the lone coal-fired thermal power plant in Bangladesh.
With the closure of the last unit, low voltage for hours in addition to random power cuts aggravated misery at houses, medical and educational institutes and affected economic and business activities in the division.
The power ministry, meanwhile, said sorry for supply disruption in Rangpur division due to closure of the power plant and assured of quick measures to improve the situation.
Rangpur Medical College Hospital director Ajay Kumar Ray said that they were relying on generator to run electrical machineries for treating patients.
There has been no service of elevators and air coolers at the hospital for the past three days, he said, adding that there was water crisis as water pumps could be run.
Rangpur Medical College fifth year student Anuska Jebin Godhulee said that they were facing troubles at home and on the campus to continue their study because of power disruption.    
Agricultural activities, the lifeline of the northern region, have seriously been affected, local people alleged.
Many cold storages have already been affected badly, said Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mostafa Sohorab Titu.
The economic loss would be higher if the power supply is not restored quickly, he said.
Mostafa said that there was no pipeline gas supply in the region. The productions in small and medium-level industries of the region, including apparel factories at Syedpur, were being affected due power cuts and low voltage. 
Northern Electric Supply Company LTD Rangpur zone chief engineer Shahadat Hossain Sarker said that people had to face low voltage and power cuts due to closure of power plant that used to meet 80 per cent of 650 megawatt electricity demand in the division.
He said that they were trying to meet the demand taking supply from other plants.
AKM Abul Kahair Mohammad Masum, a resident of Mahadebpur area of Rangpur city, said that they were experiencing power cuts for at least three hours a day along with frequent low voltage which was disrupting the smooth functioning of electric appliances and causing harm to the products.
Director (purchase) of Karupanno, an export oriented handicrafts factory of Rangpur city, Erphanur Rhaman said that they used to run factory round the clock, but power disruption was causing production shortfall and damage of machines.
If the situation continues they have to lose huge amount of foreign currency, he said.

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