Once the project is implemented, it will play a vital role in improving the power distribution systems and substantially check the unexpected interruptions in power supply
Absent Chinese engineers and workers, unable to return to Bangladesh from their homeland even after six months since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, are causing excessive delays in a top priority project of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC).
According to official sources, the DPDC undertook a Power Distribution System upgrading project to improve its network and system in its command area in Dhaka city.
The DPDC signed the contract with the Chinese contractor TBEA in September last year to implement the China-funded Tk20,500 crore mega project under which 40 substations will be set up in the city while overhead cables of Hatirjheel Lake and Dhanmondi residential areas will be laid underground over the next five years.
Taking overhead cables underground from Jahangir gate in Cantonment to Motijheel is also included in the project.
Under the project, DPDC officials said, about 105 kilometres of all kinds of overhead electric cables will go underground and there will be no cable visible in a certain part of Dhanmondi area that includes Satmasjid Road, Mirpur Road, City College and Greenherald School area.
Officials said all kinds of materials, equipment and system were brought to the country for the Dhanmondi pilot project and everything was ready to start the work.
“However, the coronavirus outbreak has forced us to suspend the program as the Chinese engineers and workers of the project went back home and are stuck up there for the disease,” said one of the DPDC officials, adding that the project’s work was supposed to start in the first week of January.
Most the Chinese nationals went back home in December last year to spend vacation.
Contacted DPDC Managing Director Bikash Dewan informed they have communicated the matter to the concerned authorities through power division to facilitate the return of the Chinese engineers and workers to join the project’s work.
“But until now the concerned Chinese nationals were not able to manage Visa to come back to Bangladesh,” he said.
The DPDC top executive noted that his organization has been making all out efforts to facilitate the Chinese nationals’ return to Bangladesh as early as possible.
“We’re holding meetings through videoconference with the Chinese contractors and their concerned officials to advance the project’s works, specially, the non-field level works so that after their return, the field works could be promptly started,” he said.
Bikash Dewan said once the project is implemented, it will play a vital role in improving the power distribution systems and substantially check the unexpected interruptions in power supply.
There are widespread allegations from the consumers that interruptions take place frequently in many areas in the city.
DPDC officials admitted that it happens due to weaknesses in distribution systems despite the fact that there is no shortage in electricity supply.
They said under the power distribution system upgrading project, the capacity of a number of substations will also be improved.
Bikash Dewan said that once the project is implemented, the capacity of 132kV level will go up to 5,330 MVA and 33 kV level to 4680 MVA.