Bangladesh, starving for less than 4,000 megawatt electricity only five years back, today celebrated touching the milestone of power generation capacity of 10,000-MW with a grand and cheerful jubilation.
The celebration was launched this evening with a spectacular fireworks and laser show at picturesque Hatirjheel Lake, enjoyed by thousands of people.
The lake, meticulously designed with bridges, overpasses, walkways and lake flows in the heart of the city took a different look during the dazzling fireworks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina switched on the celebration titled Alok Utsob (Light Festival) from Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) along with inauguration of the Jatiya Biddyut Saptaha-2013.
Opening the celebration, the Prime Minister said, “It’s a joyous day for us. It’s a successful and historic day for our government. It’s a day of setting milestone and materializing our commitment to the people”.
In the election manifesto, she said, the government had made a commitment to enhance the country’s power generation capacity to 7,000 MW by 2013. “Today we are producing more than our target, making the country free from load-shedding.”
“Eight more plants with capacity of producing 760 MM power would go for commissioning by January 24 next, when the present government will fulfill its five-year tenure, she said.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, PM’s energy advisor Dr. Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, state minister for power Enamul Haque, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Subid Ali Bhuiyan, ERD secretary Abul Kalam Azad, energy secretary Habibur Rahman Khan and power secretary Monwar Islam also spoke on the occasion.
The Prime Minister said a total of 57 power plants were constructed in the country during the tenure of the present government while 33 more are now under construction.
“Tender documents are being processed for 20 plants. Now per capita power generation capacity of the country rose to 321 kilowatt compared to 220 kilowatt in 2009,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said despite adverse criticism the government continued its efforts with patience to make the country self- reliant in electricity. “We have proved that ‘Icche Thakle Upay Hoi’ (where there’s a will there’s a way),” she said. The Prime Minister thanked all concerned for the astonishing success in the power sector. “The finance minister did not hesitate to pump out money in this sector,” she said.
Later, she inaugurated payment of bills of Palli Bidyut subscribers through SMS.