Power please, not overheated politics
Abdul Aziz works as a salesman at a pharmacy in Shyamoli area of the capital. He has to return home late at night when the entire house remains plunged in darkness for power outage.
He has to undergo huge trouble for his minor children and elderly mother because of frequent power failure in the area.
Aziz is not alone to bear the brunt of load-shedding. Millions of the city-dwellers have the same story to tell. They want power, not overheated politics.
Such an alarming frequency of power cuts, coupled with sweltering summer temperatures, in different parts of the capital on a rota basis daily, have heightened public sufferings in the last couple of days.
Even, inadequate Wasa water is biting people like the blistering heat of the baking sun as the supply of the essential utility service is at low pressure in the metropolis which is home to almost 12 million people.
The number of people falling sick every day has increased for hot spells amid power interruptions at brief intervals—although the irrigation period is long over, and there is no need of power diversion to farms.
Erratic electricity supply hits students hard. They have to read by candlelight at night-time.
Even, production at mills and factories is severely hampered and businesses suffer a severe blow.
During a spot visit to the neighbourhoods of Shyamoli and Mohammadpur, this correspondent talked to a number of residents on the sticky, humid Thursday afternoon.
When approached, many a local refused to talk to this correspondent, saying: “Will you manage adequate electricity for us? What is the use of writing about our woes if the government cares lightly about the issue?”
The inhabitants came up with the complaints that the government has done almost nothing for smooth supply of power and water to save people from the rigours of sultry weather.
It matters little for the rich as they can afford to use generator or at least IPS as a buffer against power outage, but poor domestic users are ultimate sufferers, many said.
Rahman, a vegetable retailer who resides in Shyamoli area, said, “Load-shedding is so common that we have to think when power will go. It is painful if power goes in the dead of night. The other day it seemed all hell broke loose at the sudden cry of my five-month baby for power cut.”
“Life has lost its zest for power outage. Power tariff is raised regularly with the rising cost of living, but the power situation remains the same,” this is how an official of a multinational research firm, portrayed the grim picture.
Life in the capital has become totally unbearable for erratic power supply with sizzling summer heat. With the persisting crisis, people are beginning to fear the worst in the coming days.
“Successive administrations have failed to address the problem,” he told daily sun.
Poor rickshaw-puller Nizam said, “When I get home from work, I like to relax. But perennial power problem, weeks of hot dry weather and unbearable humidity in the concrete jungle have made life miserable.”
“The government is doing fairly nothing to save the ailing power and energy sector. If power cannot be generated for cash crunch, where does all the money go?” questioned a schoolteacher in Kalyanpur area on Sunday.
“But when will we get electricity? After the summer is over!” he wondered.
Seeking anonymity, a government official said, “We heard that megawatts of electricity were added to the national grid in the last three years to cut load-shedding. But where did the power go?”
“No power connections are being given to anybody for the last couple of years, so why is power crisis?” a resident posed a question, saying: “We now believe the government simply promised smooth power supply as a pre-election gambit.”
Allegations have it that many power plants lie inoperative for long having failed to produce target electricity for its growing demand in the prickly hot weather.
When contacted Friday, Power Division Secretary AK Azad told daily sun, “There is a slim chance of reducing load-shedding this year. But power- supply situation might be at tolerable level by this time.”
Experts have long said that it is well-nigh impossible for profit-oriented private sector to resolve nagging power crisis.
They urge the authorities to take an initiative to generate wind- and solar-based electricity as alternative sources of power to cut dependence on gas.