The committee must see if efficient people are placed in the power sector to avoid an outage

06 October 2022 Editorial Desk
The committee must see if efficient people are placed in the power sector to avoid an outage

Just as the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home after 18 days tour to the UK and the USA, the half of the country saw a blackout on Tuesday for about eight hours in Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet and Mymensingh divisions. At this, mills and factories came to a sudden halt, production at garments industries stopped, patients' sufferings multiplied in hospitals that did not have generator backups, not to mention the troubles of people inside their households in this sweltering early October heat.

There is no figure available in terms of financial loss due to the outage, but that it was huge can be said with certainty. The initial explanation from the Power Division was that the problem began at a substation near Ghorasal when the demand for electricity suddenly dropped causing a power surge that tripped power stations one after another. It was a grid failure. Not long ago, on September 7 last, another grid failure occurred that left one third of the country without power for about one hour. Another major power outage occurred due to a technical glitch in the Bheramara Power Plant in 2014.         

These events of grid failure and technical glitches as well as the frequent loadshedding that the whole country has been undergoing for several months now tells how the government has miserably failed in power management. It is not that electricity consumers are not paying money for electricity they consume, yet the power sector remains as one of the worst managed sectors in the country. The initiation of costly rental and quick rental power plants has not only made the cost of power generation very high among the countries of the world, corruption in the sector is largely responsible for the current economic crisis facing the country.

In recent days, we do not hear about the stories of 'development' in the mouths of the ministers thanks to the ongoing economic crisis. Nor do the people in the government now shift blame to the previous government for the management failure since they have been in power, albeit forcibly, for the last 13 years.

Coming back to yesterday's outage, the Power Grid Company Bangladesh has formed a five-member committee to find out why the power trip occurred in power stations one after another. Our experience is, this government looks for party men for appointment and their efficiency for the positions is not so relevant. It is our belief that the special committee will be able to produce an honest report that can be helpful.

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