Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated her determination to reach electricity to every household of the country by 2021 calling upon the people to maintain austerity in using power and gas at their houses and workplaces to achieve the goal.
"We have set a target to reach electricity to cent percent people by 2021 and it's my firm belief that we can achieve the goal before the stipulated time by executing Vision-2021 on power production Insha Allah," she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the National Power and Energy Week 2016 at International Convention City, Bashundhara in the capital this morning.
Nepalese Energy Minister Janandar Sharma addressed the function as the special guest, while State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu chaired it.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Power Tajul Islam also spoke.
Energy and Mineral Resources Division Secretary Nazimuddin Chowdhury and Power Division Secretary Monowar Islam gave the address of welcome, while an audio-visual documentary on power and energy was also screened at the function.
Ministers, advisers to the premier, parliament members, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the prime minister distributed awards among the winners in 10 categories of the power sector and 6 categories in the energy sector.
Describing fulfilling the power demand as the "first ladder" for development, Sheikh Hasina said the people will have mentality for efficient use of electricity keeping in mind that its production cost is huge.
"We sometime misuse electricity unnecessarily. In this case I want that guardians teachers and students -- all to show mentality towards efficient use of electricity at school, college, office and court," she said.
She added: "Huge amount of electricity could be saved if we switch off lights and fans in our own hands and keep temperature of air-conditioners within 24/25 degrees Celsius," she added.
The prime minister said there is nothing of shame "if we do this in our own hands and as the prime minister, I myself switch off the light. I want that everybody would have such mentality."
The prime ministers said the electricity and gas are country's national resources which accelerate the country's economic activities. "So we will have to protect this valuable resources," she said, also urging all to maintain austerity in use of water.
Highlighting various steps of her government in the power and energy sector over the last eight years, Sheikh Hasina said that some 1,902 kilometers of transmission lines and 97,000 kilometers of new distribution lines have been constructed over the last eight years.
She said the electricity production was increased to 15,000 MW over the last eight years through setting up 80 power plants. "The total amount of transmission line is now 9,893 circuit kilometer, while the amount of distribution line is 3.60 lakh kilometer," she said.
The premier said the number of beneficiaries who got electricity was 47 percent in 2009. But, the number was raised to 78 percent over the last 8 years by providing 1.14 crore new connections, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said nearly 5 crore people have been brought under new electricity facilities and cent percent electrification was done in some upazilas. Today cent percent electrification was inaugurated in 10 more upazilas, she said.
She said her government has been implementing a masterplan to generate 24,000 MW electricity by 2021; 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041 under a longterm plan.
She said eight coal-fired mega power plant projects having 9,840 MW capacity are under implementation. "Besides, we have signed an agreement with Russia to build the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, through which generating 2200 MW would be possible by 2024," she said.
Sheikh Hasina also renewed her government's plan to set up another nuclear power plant in the southern region of the country.
The prime minister said three gas fields were discovered since 2009. As a result, she said, the daily average gas production was increased to 2,740 million cubic feet from 1,744 mcft.
The premier said that her government has been trying to generate power from the renewable energy in a bid to ensure energy security for the future as well as resisting global warming.
In this regard, Sustainable and Renewable Development Authority (SREDA) has been formed as a unique entity under the SREDA Act-2012, she said.
She said that target has been set to raise the power generation from renewable energy to 5 percent by 2021 and to 10 percent from renewable energy out of the overall power generation as per the Renewable Energy Policy. "To materialize this goal, a plan has been undertaken to generate some 3,100 MW power by 2021 based on renewable energy."
Sheikh Hasina also asked the Power Division to take initiative to supply the surplus power from the different solar power projects to the national grid after meeting up the local demand.
Putting emphasis on bilateral and international cooperation, she said her government has signed a number of agreements over the last eight years as around 600 MW of power is being imported from India under the Bangladesh-India cooperation agreement while steps have been taken to import 500 MW of more power.
Besides, she said, talks are underway to import hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan as well as power and gas from Myanmar.
The prime minister said that due to the relentless efforts of the present government, the current per capita power generation capacity has been raised to 407 kilowatt hour from 220 kilowatt hour in 2009.
Mentioning that initiative has been taken to augment power generation through re-powering the old power plants, she said, "The system loss in power distribution has now been reduced to 10.96 percent which was 15.67 percent in the past," she said.
Noting that the development of the power and energy sector further strengthens and brings dynamism in the economy of the country, Sheikh Hasina said that the production of power and gas is costly in one hand and on the other hand is time consuming.
"It's my belief that the National Power and Energy Week would encourage people to check misuse of power and energy and thus maintain austerity in its use," she said.
Later, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Power Fair.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)