The Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) is refusing to term the recent erratic power supply in Chittagong as an “outage”, even as residents struggle to deal with frequents cuts in temperatures hovering around 36 degrees Celsius.
PDB officials have said specific reasons have led to the disrupted electricity supply this summer and that the situation took a turn for the worse due to a “power glitch”.
The power distribution system often gets disrupted due to outdated electricity connections in the southern region of the PDB.
Power is supplied to a total of 880,000 consumers through an 8,000km long distribution line under the southern zone of the PDB that covers Chittagong city, some parts of Patiya, Hathazari, and Sitakunda upazilas of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Power distribution often gets disrupted due to outdated electricity connections in the southern region of PDB
Prabir Kumar Sen, chief engineer of PDB southern zone, said there will be no power glitches in the region by 2019 with the completion of a Tk1,100 crore upgrade project titled “Improvement of Power Distribution System in Chittagong Zone.”
The power supply, however, will remain disrupted during the renovation works.
According to information provided by the southern zone of PDB, the daily demand of this region was 955MW of power, while it received 938MW from the national grid on May 16.
Between May 17 and May 21, the highest supply was 845MW against a demand of 1061MW of electricity.
The situation has been exacerbated by the heatwaves of varying degrees which have recently been sweeping over many regions in Bangladesh.
With temperatures rising in Faridpur, it is reported that electricity is only being supplied to residents for up to seven hours every day.
“We are not even getting electricity for more than 30 minutes at the same time,” said Sarwar Hossain, a resident of Bhanga upazila.
The same scenario is also prevailing in Bogra, where the supply of electricity is not even half the demand there. Bogra needs 150 megawatt electricity a day, while the supply is at best 95 megawatts.