Tongi plant trips again: Power crisis gets unbearable
Doulot Akter Mala
A nagging power crisis is growing unbearable for the people sweltering under a heat-wave now sweeping the country.
Sources said the situation has turned to worse Tuesday when the Tongi power plant tripped again.
Power failure and load shedding increased significantly also with the tripping of Maniknagar grid Monday.
The dramatic fall in power supply is a matter of grave concern as the country braces for a lingering drought.
Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) is not in a position to ease the sufferings of the city dwellers, sources said.
Small business units are the worst hit as they are unable to arrange any alternative backup for power supply.
"Being a small entrepreneur, it is not possible to buy a captive generator or Instant Power Supply (IPS) for my business house," an owner of a photo copier shop at city's Moghbazar said.
The photocopy business is suffering a lot due to frequent power disruption, he added.
Many customers are returning without photocopying their documents, he said.
DESA Chairman Touhidul Islam said currently, there is power supply of 1100 megawatt (mw) in DESA and DESCO areas against a requirement of 1400 mw.
He said Narayanganj industrial area consumes the highest amount of power. Steel mills also require huge supply of power, he added.
In December 2005, Narayanganj area consumed 70.55 million kilowatt hour (mkmh) followed by Postogola 63.69 mkwh, Tongi 47.77 mkwh and Lalbagh 42.34 mkwh, he said.
"Despite sufficient power supply its distribution to Lalbagh and Shampur may suffer for a longer period due to weaker Hasnabad 132 KV line", he lamented.
The DESA has divided its distribution area into eight circles covering a total 34 divisions.
City's water supply situation is in bade shape as the water pumps remain idle due to power outage for four to five hours a day in areas of Rampura, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Khilgaon, Farmgate, Azimpur.
Besides, several schools were forced to close down Monday due to frequent power failure.
Press workers at the city's Fakirerpool area are also experiencing a difficult time for their business because of power disruption.
M A Momen, president of the Dhaka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), said the business community is facing a hardship due to the terrible power crisis.
Cost of production has risen significantly for erratic power supply, he added.
Small business units at the old parts of the city have also been badly hit by the power crisis that cut production.
"We have to face a hard time to compete in the world market due to such difficult situation for business", he further said.