Order of 25 pc of reduction of energy consumption in government offices

The Prime Minister’s Office gave a new set of directives on Wednesday, including reducing electricity use by 25% in all public offices and reducing the allocation to the country’s energy sector by 20%. current national budget.

The PMO has also asked ministries and divisions to avoid physical attendance at meetings and hold meetings virtually to save energy consumption.

Chaired by Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, the meeting reviewed government austerity measures taken amid an energy crisis that has led to a significant drop in power generation.

The meeting reiterated that all public officials should avoid unnecessary foreign tours amid economic instability caused by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

He instructed relevant authorities to set up mobile courts and step up market surveillance to check hoardings amid monthly inflation hitting a nine-year high of 7.56 percent in June.

He also asked the Ministry of Education to take steps to streamline the use of private transport for transporting students to educational institutions.

Directives have also been issued to the National Revenue Council to mobilize higher revenue and to all ministries and divisions to reduce revenue expenditure by reviving annual procurement plans.

The new set of measures had been announced after the national electricity rationing program which began on Tuesday.

Electricity distribution agencies have struggled to maintain their electricity rationing programs, especially outside the capital after new measures put in place by the government to deal with the generation shortfall.

Dhaka residents said they found the power outage schedules published by Dhaka Power Distribution Company and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited largely correct.

But people living outside the capital like Chattogram and Rajshahi saw the power cut off schedule by a wide margin.

Some places even faced power outages four times beyond schedule, disrupting life and business in sweltering weather conditions.

Citing power distribution officials, New Age correspondents in the two major cities reported that power outages beyond the hours have become a reality due to lack of electricity from the national grid.

New Age correspondent Rajshahi reported that Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd and Rajshahi Palli Bidyut Samity were unable to maintain their blackout schedules in the Rajshahi division for the second consecutive day, causing immense suffering to consumers .

The authorities concerned feared that the problem would soon disappear because they received less electricity than the demand.

NESCO officials said they were getting 391 megawatts of power against a request for 478 megawatts of power.

Due to the power shortage, consumers had to experience power outages of more than four and a half hours in a 24-hour period, they said.

Ekramul Haque, managing director of Rajshahi Palli Bidyut Samity, said they were getting 35 megawatts of power supply against a demand of 70 megawatts, causing a 12-hour blackout.

Zahid Hasan, a resident of the Baya area of ​​Rajshahi, told New Age that he suffered five to six power cuts throughout the day ranging from 30 minutes to an hour and a half outside the hours declared by the authorities.

Amazd Hossain Shimul, a resident of Darikhorbona district in the city, said he also suffered three to four power cuts on Wednesday beyond the scheduled time.

The New Age correspondent in Chattogram reported that residents of the town also faced acute power outages beyond the schedule.

Ismail Hossain, a resident of the Agrabad Hajipara area, told New Age that residents in the area suffered a power outage for at least three hours on Wednesday.

“The power went out five times until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday,” he said.

Firoza Begum, a resident of the Badurtola area, told New Age on Wednesday that they had experienced three power cuts in the area until 6:00 p.m. and the total duration of the power outage was two and a half hours.

“We also faced a power outage issue on Tuesday night for two and a half hours,” she said.

Md Rubel, a resident of the Kazir Dewri area, told New Age that they faced five power cuts in the area and their total duration was three hours.

Md Rezaul Karim, the Chief Chattogram Engineer for the South Zone of PDB, told New Age that they are trying to maintain the schedule.

“On Wednesday we had a 100 megawatt power outage in Chattogram. But it could increase or decrease in the next few days depending on the energy distribution,” he said.

The government on Monday announced the closure of all diesel power plants due to high oil and gas prices in international markets.

Government officials said this would result in a drop of around 1,000 megawatts to 1,200 megawatts in power generation.

The Bangladesh Power Development Board, however, predicted a deficit of 2,300 megatts on its website on Wednesday.