Thursday, 28 Sep, 2023
Thursday, 28 Sep, 2023
The Daily Post

Public outrage over rampant  load shedding                 

Nur Mohammad Mithu

Public outrage over rampant  load shedding                 


                  -Electricity workers in fear of attack

       -Additional security has been sought from 80 rural electricity societies

           -Special security has been ordered by the police headquarters

      -Intelligence surveillance and patrolling around power offices and installations are strengthened

       - Public outrage-dissatisfaction is increasing, trying to convince customers - Field Officer of Rural Electricity


Frequent load-shedding disrupted public life. There is load shedding for four to five hours day and night in the capital. The situation is worse in rural areas. There is load shedding for eight to 10 hours a day. As the level of suffering increases due to overcharging and load shedding, the anger of the people against the concerned institutions is also increasing. Out of this, there are more incidents of expressing anger toward the electricity workers at the field level. Electricity consumers are expressing their anger in different places. All 80 rural electricity associations across the country are now facing public outcry and customer dissatisfaction, association officials say.

However, they say that there will be ongoing load shedding throughout June. Electricity cannot be produced as per demand due to a shortage of primary fuel gas, coal, and fuel oil. Several power plants are closed. If the supply of primary fuel normalizes, load shedding will reduce in the coming months. However, it cannot be said that it will be completely closed. The crowd is getting angrier. In such a situation, instructions have been given to all police units at the field level to be vigilant in protecting the safety of the power plants. In a meeting held at the police headquarters, it was asked to keep an eye on the matter so that no one can capitalize on load shedding and create an unpleasant situation. Following the instructions, security measures have been increased in KPI installations across the country including power generation plants, power offices, and sub-stations. Intelligence activities and police patrols have been increased. The GM-DGMs of Palli Bidyut Samiti said that additional security has been requested from the society or companies in charge of electricity distribution by writing to the police.

Senior General Manager of Comilla Palli Bidyut Samity-2 Engineer Mostafizur Rahman told the Daily Post, "We have informed the police about the public outcry." At any time, customer outrage can occur. 40-45 percent load shedding is happening for the last two days. As the heat increases, so does the anger of the customers. Even when it comes to outstanding bills, the tension of the customers is visible. We also fear that customer dissatisfaction can happen at any time. So I informed the matter to District Commissioner-Police Superintendent. Also, we have a lot of manpower. We are trying to understand the customers by sending them to the field. According to Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB), due to the shortfall in production compared to the demand, the electricity distribution institutions including the Rural Electrification Board are informing the load shedding schedule in advance. Although the victims say, the electricity department is not able to keep that schedule. The level of load shedding continues to increase. According to them, the actual situation is very fragile, regardless of the load-shedding information given by the government. Load shedding is happening six-seven times a day. People's life has become miserable in the intense heat. Once the power goes out, it takes anywhere from one to three hours to come back on. People are also expressing extreme anger about load shedding on social media.


Meherpur Palli bidyut Samity, Chuadanga Zonal Office DGM Kazi Mocha. Ayesha Siddiqa Sarkar told Daily Post, "Though there is no threat, customer dissatisfaction is showing through various channels. We are trying to motivate them. We informed The district administration and local administration. We are trying to motivate the customers. If coordinate with everyone, their dissatisfaction not reaches extreme levels.  The concern of the electricity department says that if the temperature decreases, the electricity demand will also decrease a little. Then the situation will be normal. According to the information of the Meteorological Department. The intense heat wave is passing over the districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Jessore, and Chuadanga. Dhaka, Mymensingh, Moulvibazar, Chandpur, Noakhali, and Feni districts are experiencing mild to moderate heat waves. There is no sign of abating soon. As a result, heat and load-shedding will have to be battled for the next few days.

These issues were also discussed in the recent police headquarters meeting. Information has also emerged in the discussion that angry people are directly calling and threatening to attack the electricity office due to load shedding. It is reported that two people have been arrested on such charges in Jessore. Given this, Additional IGP of Police (Crime and Ops) Md. Atiqul Islam ordered the field police to inquire everywhere. He also directed us to be very careful so that no one could capitalize on load shedding. It is reported that due to load-shedding in Feni, the public attacked electricity offices in Chhagalnaiya, Phulgazi, and Sonagazi. Tension arose in some parts of the country including Syedpur. After that, various departments of Palli Bidyut Samiti wrote to the police administration asking for additional security for the building including the electricity office. In one such letter, it is said that electricity is not being supplied as per the demand due to reduced power generation and low voltage. Unbearable load shedding is going on in the area covered by the Palli Bidyut Samiti. Customers are suffering due to intense heat. Irrigation is interrupted. Dissatisfaction is building among customers in many areas. In this situation, there is a danger of unexpected incidents around various electrical substations including the main office of the organization. In the letter, the concerned institutions and officials have been requested for full cooperation in providing security.

Several superintendents of police told Daily Post that electrical installations are under KPI. Along with the police, Ansar members are also guarding these establishments. Senior officials including circle SP and OC visited the KPI establishment. They check CCTV, walls and other security equipment. Also, inquire about other safety-related matters. After receiving the letter from Palli Bidyut Samiti, patrolling in the power plant area has been increased. Police Headquarters AIG (Media) Manjur Rahman told Daily Post that `all the installations of the Electricity Department are included in the KPI. Security is always tight in these institutions. But as people are going through a special period of intense heat waves and load-shedding, special security arrangements will also be strengthened.’