Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her hope that all the upazilas of the country will come under cent percent electrification coverage by 2021, as the government has been working to illuminate all the homes across the country.
"We hope to give cent percent electricity across the country within the "Mujib Borsho" to be observed from March 2020 to March 2021 marking the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating seven power plants, that added 790-megawatt power to the national grid, and complete electrification at 23 upazilas, through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban here.
"As many as 234 upazilas have so far been brought under cent percent electrification coverage with opening the seven power plants and bringing 23 upazilas under complete electrification," she said.
The premier said 94 percent of people have been brought under the electricity coverage as the power generation now stands at 22562 megawatts.
Noting that her government is taking various measures to increase power generation to light up every home of the country and said, "No house will be left in dark."
The prime minister said, "We are committed to reaching electricity to every house in accordance with the promises to build a poverty-free country as electricity creates scope for job employment".
Taking a swipe at the BNP-Jamaat government for taking the country backward, she said, "After assuming office in 1996, we only got 1600 MW electricity and we increased the figure to 4300 MW. But, the power generation had reduced to 3200 MW after the BNP took office in 2001".
The prime minister, however, urged all to exercise austerity in using electricity. The government is giving electricity to the consumers at a half price of the production cost, she said.
The seven power plants which were opened today are: Anwara 300 MW Power Plant, Rangpur 113 MW Power Plant, Karnaphuli 110 MW Power Plant, Shikalbaha 105 MW Power Plant, Patia 54 MW Power Plant, Tentulia 8 MW Solar Power Plant and Gazipur 100 MW Power Plant.
The 23 upazilas which came under cent percent electricity coverage are: Gabtali, Sherpur and Shibganj in Bogura district, Lohagara in Chattogram, Madhukhali, Nagarkanda and Saltha in Faridpur district, Fulchhari, Gaibandha Sadar and Palashbari in Gaibandha district, Madhappur and Nabiganj in Habiganj district, Kaliganj and Maheshpur in Jhenaidah district, Karimganj under Kishoreganj, Baraigram, Lalpur and Singra under Natore district, Barhatta and Mahonganj in Netrakona district, Bhandaria, Kaukhali and Indurkani under Pirojpur district
Deputy Speaker Md. Fazle Rabbi Miah, Prime Minister's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Md. Shahiduzzaman Sarker, were present on the dais.
Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, PM's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and State Minister for Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Md. Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru were present on the occasion.
PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function while Senior Secretary of Power Division Dr Ahmad Kaikaus gave a presentation on the overall development of power generation capacity.
Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Secretary Sajjadul Hassan and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were also present, among others.
Later, the prime minister exchanged views with local beneficiaries and public representatives of the concerned districts.
Sheikh Hasina also said power is being reached the remote areas through biogas and solar panel.
She asked the authorities concerned to take better efforts to ensure smooth distribution and transmission to bring all the houses under the cent percent electrification coverage.
The premier stressed the need for protecting arable lands to ensure food security and said, "We have already achieved food security."
The prime minister said her government has been working for the welfare of the people as the Father of the Nation wanted to make the livelihood of the people standard making Bangladesh as a country free from hunger and poverty.
Spelling out her government's initiatives to ensure people's welfare, she said poverty has reduced to 21 percent from 41 percent.
Putting emphasis on implementing the electoral commitments, the premier said her government is determined to executing all the electoral pledges as the people of the country voted her party to power for the third consecutive term due to huge development work carried out by her government.
She once again thanked the people for voting Awami League to power.
Talking about employment generation, Sheikh Hasina said the government is establishing 100 special economic zones to generate employment.
The premier said her government is taking development projects giving importance to the rural areas that the village people get every civic amenity.