Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to immediately ensure electricity supply for those people who still remain out of power connectivity in remote areas of the country.
“The Prime Minister has issued a directive to bring the families living in char and remote areas under the electricity facility fast and asked all the concerned to take new projects, if necessary,” said PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah on Friday.
The government has so far been able to bring 99.75 percent of the country’s people under the electricity network by providing power from the national grid, and installing solar power systems in char and remote areas.
Tofazzel Hossain said only 47 percent people were under the electricity networks in 2009.
Sheikh Hasina gave the directive as it came to her notice that several thousands of families in remote char areas of Gangachara Upazila of Rangpur district still do not have access to electricity.
Following the Prime Minister’s directive, necessary works have started to bring the people residing in char and remote areas under the power facility as soon as possible, according to the officials concerned.
“No house or family will be in the dark,” the PMO secretary quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
According to Palli Daridro Bimochon Foundation (PDBF), 12,170 solar home systems are expected to be set up at Rangpur Sadar and Gangachara upazilas in Rangpur district and Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat district under a project titled ‘Bangladesher Bidyut Bihin Prottonto Anchal Ebong Char Elakay Souro Shoktir Unnoyon’.
But PDBF has been able to install 9,845 solar panel systems there, the official sources said.
In June last, some 712 families, out of 4,504, were provided with home solar systems in Gangachara following payment, submission of NID cards, and completion of other formalities, though PDBF was then unable to distribute solar systems among the 90 listed families as the project expired on June 30 last.
As the matter came to the notice of the Prime Minister recently, she directed the authorities concerned to instantly take a special project and install solar home systems in the houses of those 90 listed families.
At the time, Hasina also directed the authorities concerned to take measures to bring other families, who are out of the purview of the power facilities, to bring under electricity connectivity soon.
As per her directives, the authorities started work to bring the rest 3,708 families of Gangachara Upazila under the power facility.
"We’re working in a coordinated manner with Palli Bidyut to bring 3,708 families in the char areas of Gangachara upazila of Rangpur under electricity following the directives of the PM,” said PDBF Managing Director Muhammad Maududur Rashid Safdar.
“Electricity will be supplied by installing solar home panel systems in the remote areas where power lines couldn’t be set up,” he said.
Some 62 lakh home solar panels have been installed so far to supply electricity to remote areas. Some 263 Megawatts (MW) of electricity are being generated through these solar panels, and two crore people are enjoying the electricity facilities with these solar panels at a nominal price, according to the Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Ministry.
In Bangladesh, the overall power generation capacity, including captive and renewable energy is 25,235 MW, which was only 4,942 MW in 2009.
The government has allocated Tk 28,056 crore for the power sector in the 2021-22 fiscal year, but the allocation was only Tk 2,677 crore in 2009.