Every house will be lit up by 2021: PM

Dhaka, Aug 27: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday reaffirmed her government’s goal of illuminating every house of the country by 2021 and urged the people to be economical in using electricity.“We’ve taken massive programmes to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020 and the golden jubilee of independence in 2021 and our goal is to light up every house of the country by 2021,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating cent percent electrification in 31 Upazilas of 18 districts. She also opened two power plants, 11 grid sub-stations and six new transmission lines through a virtual conferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
The government has been giving a huge amount of subsidy to the power sector, said the premier and reiterated her call to the people not to misuse electricity.
“A huge amount of money is spent on producing electricity. We’re now importing LNG and we are still giving a huge amount of subsidy to the power sector. But all have to keep in mind that it’s not possible to give subsidy always,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina added: “We’ve already been able to provide electricity to 97.5 percent people of the country and we hope we could give it to 100 percent people by 2021.”
The prime minister said her government has planned to generate 24,000 MW electricity by 2021, 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041 for the overall economic development of the country.
“We’re setting up 100 special economic zones across the country for further industrialization and generating more employments, and (a huge amount of) electricity will be needed for this,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has also established Digital Bangladesh. “As much as the use of ICT will increase in the country, the demand of power will go up to that extent,” she remarked.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid was connected to the function from his ministry office.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function while secretaries concerned to the premier were present at the Ganabhaban.
Power Division Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed made a presentation titled “Power Sector in Bangladesh: From Bangabandhu to Bangabandhu Daughter” from the ministry on the power sector development that took place in the last 11 years.
Besides, a documentary on power sector development was screened at the function.
The prime minister said the government is not only producing electricity and constructing power plants but also making arrangements of transmission lines.
“We’re expanding rural electrification and reaching power to every house by adopting multifaceted plans. As a result, the rate of electricity users enhanced to 97.5 percent from only 36 percent and the number of clients increased to 3.74 crores from one crore,” she said.
“We’re increasing and developing transmission and distribution lines to ensure electricity for all as well uninterrupted power supply,” she said.
Noting that the government has multifaceted the electricity production, Sheikh Hasina power is now being generated through gas, coal and solar panel.
“As many as 58 lakh solar panels have been set up in the country and grid line is being set up so that the electricity produced from solar energy can be added to the grid lines,” she said.
The prime minister said the government has made arrangements to spend 50 percent allocations of Test Relief and Food for Work programmes for establishing solar panel so that all areas get electricity.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said the government’s development works not only capital or towns centric. “We want to transform every village into a town by reaching civic amenities to the house of rural people,” she said.
The prime minister requested the people not to misuse electricity, saying that they’ll be beneficial if they are economical in using electricity.
“It’s my earnest request to you to maintain austerity in using electricity… you’ll be benefited if less electricity bill comes,” she said.
The prime minister later exchanged views with a cross section of people, including public representatives, deputy commissioners, police supers, teachers, students, imams, housewives as well as beneficiaries of the electricity of five districts — Noakhali, Patuakhali, Cumilla, Gopalganj and Manikganj.
While talking about the coronavirus pandemic, Sheikh Hasina said not only Bangladesh, the entire world is now suffering for it.
When a student of Noakhali exchanged views, the prime minister said the study of the students is being affected due to closure of the schools, colleges and universities. “We’ve made arrangements for taking classes through television and online,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked the students to continue their studies at their houses in this situation. “Then we see what can we do for them,” she said.
The premier urged all to comply with the health codes properly to protect themselves from the transmission of the disease. She also requested them to pray so that the country gets rid of the coronavirus.
Renewing her vow to build a hunger-and-poverty-free Sonar Bangla as dreamt by the Father of the Nation, the prime minister said: “We’re dedicating the present time to the young generation, otherwise who will run the country in future.”
Belal Hossain, a resident of Noakhali, sang a song on Bangabandhu when the prime minister exchanged views with the cross section of people of Noakhali.
Earlier, the prime minister opened cent percent electrification in 31 upazilas of 18 districts, two power plants, 11 grid sub-stations and six new transmission lines through a virtual conferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
The upazilas which came under cent percent power coverage are: Nabinagar, Sarail and Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria district, Faridganj and Kachua in Chandpur, Barura and Muradnagar in Cumilla, Bhanga and Boalmari in Faridpur district, Sadullapur in Gaibandha district, Jhenaidah Sadar in Jhenaidah district.
Other upazilas brought under cent percent electricity coverage are Manikganj Sadar, Daulatpur, Singair and Shibalaya in Manikganj district, Rajnagar in Molvibazar district, Manda, Dhamoirhat and Sapahar in Naogaon district, Domar in Nilphamari district, Begumganj in Noakhali district, Mirzaganj in Patuakhali district, Rajbari sadar, Pangsha and Baliakandi in Rajbari district, Baghmara in Rajshahi district, Satkhira Sadar in Satkhira district, Zakiganj and Osmaninagar in Sylhet district, Raypura in Narsingdi district and Kalkini in Madaripur district.
The two power plants opened by the premier are: 110 MW power plant of Confidence Power Bogura-1 Ltd and 113 MW power plant of HF Power Ltd, Noakhali.
Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Mohasthangar 132/33KV, Rajshahi (North) 132/33KV, Chauddogram 132/33KV, Bhaluka 132/33KV, Benapole 132/33KV and Shariatpur 132/33KV sub-stations under the National Power Transmission Network Development Project.
Besides, she opened Shyampur 230/132KV sub-station under 400/230/132KV Grid Network Development Project, Sherpur 132/33KV and Kurigram 132/33KV under Enhancement of Capacity of Grid Substation and Transmission Line for Rural Electrification Project, Narail 132/33KV under Rural Electrification Project and Rajendrapur 132/33KV under Rajendrapur 132/33KV GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear) Grid Sub-station Construction Project.
The six transmission lines inaugurated by the premier are Patuakhali-(Payra)-Gopalganj 400KV transmission line, Jashor-Benapole 132KV transmission line, Shariatpur-Madaripur 132KV transmission line, Tista-Kurigram 132KV transmission line, Magura-Narail 132KV transmission line and Patuakhali-Payra 230KV transmission line.