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Nasrul Hamid: Harassment by metre readers to end within 3-4 years

  • Published at 09:10 pm September 5th, 2018
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid briefs the press for the 'Power and Energy Week' at Bidyut Bhaban on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Focus Bangla

Nasrul Hamid was addressing a press conference for the 'Power and Energy Week' at Bidyut Bhaban on Wednesday

State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, has said: “Electricity consumers across Dhaka city will not face harassment by metre readers after three to four years as the entire city will come under pre-paid metre coverage by then.

Nasrul Hamid was addressing a press conference for the “Power and Energy Week” at Bidyut Bhaban on Wednesday.

He said: “Electricity users will not face such problems as there will be pre-paid metres across Dhaka and gradually, the rest of the country.”

From Thursday to Saturday (September 6-8), at the International Convention City Bashundhara Residential Area, a program will highlight the government’s success in the power and energy sector . The theme of the week will be “Anirban Aagami.”

Talking about the cross-border export-import of electricity, Hamid said: “The government is discussing matters with Bhutanese authorities, following the most recent Bimstec and Nepal power pacts.”

On the issue of generating 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, and 40,000MW by 2030, the state minister said: “An investment of another $80 billion is needed to fulfill the expectation.”

Power Division Secretary, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, said they have zero tolerance for anomalies in the power sector, but he ruled out allegations of “ghost bills.”

When asked about exorbitant electricity bills, the secretary said: “There is actually no such thing. The monthly bills may just fluctuate since the power distribution companies have to adjust the bills at the end of the year.”

Meanwhile, Energy Division Secretary, Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, said: “The government, in order to address the ever-growing demand for gas, is increasingly considering imported fuel, significantly liquefied natural gas (LNG), since the country’s gas reserve will exhaust in a decade.

“But it will take time for us to cope with the expensive LNG. However, in course of time, things will change.” 

Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) Chairman, Maj Gen (retd) Moin Uddin, said there are officials and employees in the power sector who are providing illegal connections, taking bribes from consumers.

He said: “We, in fact, have a strict stance against the culprits and have already taken departmental action against those accused.”

The BREB chief said the rate of complaints filed by users facing harassment or bribes demanded by corrupt power officials or staff members is very low.

“Thirty-four million consumers have submitted 1,000 complaints in a month,” he said, claiming they have nothing to do with the middlemen responsible for the anomalies, since they are not their employees.

Prime minister’s Power and Energy Advisor, Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, and Petrobangla Chairman, Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, also attended the news briefing, among others.

Power and Energy Week

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is supposed to inaugurate the event on Thursday, where foreign experts and state and local delegates are expected to join.

A fair will also be organized during the Power and Energy Week where 35 entities from the Power Division, 25 firms from the Energy Division, and 70 local and foreign private organizations will participate.

The government will also give the best national invention award to one of three final  candidates. Four seminars will be held during the three-day event as well.

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