The Power Development Board has announced power cuts of up to 13 hours in some parts of Sylhet due to insufficient supply.
The load shedding schedule, announced on Sunday, will take effect on Monday, according to Shams-e-Arefin, an executive engineer for the PDB in the area.
The PDB supplies power to Sylhet through five distribution zones. All parts of Sylhet will see load shedding for nine to 10 hours, according to the new schedule.
The government has made a slate of decisions in order to cut the price of energy and fuel amid a steep rise in fuel prices and a crisis on the world market. These include a halt to production at diesel-run power plants in Bangladesh and the closure of petrol pumps for one day a week.
Due to the fuel conservation policy in effect, Bangladesh is experiencing a shortfall of 1,000-1,500 MW of electricity a day. The government has set out a load shedding schedule across the country to try and make up that deficit, with an eye to keeping the outage to one hour a day.
But the Sylhet branch of PDB has not followed that instruction. From the first day, it announced load shedding of three to four hours in the region. Despite this, they did not keep to the schedule and customers in the area have experienced 10-12 hours of outages.
Now, the PDB has announced a schedule that predicts up to 13 hours of load shedding, more than half the day.
“We are not getting enough power to meet demand,” said Shams-e-Arefin. “We’re only getting 30 to 33 percent. As such, we have had outages that went beyond the scheduled time.”
“The new schedule has set 13 hours of load shedding so that people are informed of the situation ahead of time,” he said. “This is the first draft of the schedule. The amount of load shedding may increase or decrease depending on the supply of electricity.”
The situation is similar in all of Sylhet, says Abdul Quadir, the PDB’s chief engineer in the region.
“The new schedule has eight to 10 hours of load shedding,” he said. “As factories are open in various areas during the day, the power supply is limited. There is more load shedding in the day, but the situation is better at night.”