“Too many trees in rural areas interrupt power supply”

Originally posted in The Daily Star on 14 June 2022

No deficit in electricity production, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid says in Parliament

Photo: Star

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today (June 14, 2022) in parliament blamed the excessive anount of trees in rural areas and said that this is a hindrance to uninterrupted power supply even though, according to the junior minister, there is no deficit of electricity production as per the country’s demand.

Responding to a tabled question from the opposition Jatiya Party MP, Rustam Ali Farazi, the junior minister said, “There is no deficit of power production as per the country’s demand. As a result, there is no load-shedding due to the deficit of power production.”

In response to a query from ruling Awami League MP Mahfuzur Rahman, Nasrul Hamid said that before 2009 the number of people in the country with electricity facilities was only 47 percent.

In the last 13 years, he said, it has been possible to provide electricity facility to 100 percent of the people by bringing the remaining 53 percent under the coverage of electricity.

He further said that work is underway to bring 100 percent people under the coverage of electricity in areas under the Bangladesh Power Development Board. “It is expected to be completed by June 2023.”

He also said that it was possible to extend 100 percent electrification to all upazilas of the country except some remote areas of Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Responding to a question from Ganoforum MP Mokabbir Khan, the state minister said that the government subsidises captive rental or rented power plants every year to provide electricity to the people at affordable prices.

“In the financial year 2019-20, Tk 1,614 crore and in the financial year 2020-21 Tk 1,036 crore had been given as subsidies,” he added.

Replying to a question from AL MP Shafiqul Islam Shimul, the state minister said that according to the latest estimates, the total primary gas reserves is 39.9 trillion cubic feet in the country.

In response to another question from AL MP Mohammad Ebadul Karim, Nasrul Hamid said that at present an average of 2,303 million cubic feet of gas is being produced daily from domestic gas fields.

“According to the approved gas load of eight consumer classes, the daily demand is 3,600 million cubic feet. Efforts are being made to fill the deficit by importing about 650 million cubic feet of LNG gas daily due to low production from domestic gas fields,” he said.

Replying to a question of ruling party MP M Abdul Latif, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, 4,095 metric tonnes of paper produced by Karnafuli Paper Mill remained unsold.