Critics of quick rental scheme anti-state, declares energy adviser

The prime minister’s Energy Adviser, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, yesterday hit out at critics of rental and quick rental power plants and asked them to thank the government for increasing power production.

“Those opposing the quick rental power plants are either ignorant, intellectually corrupt, anti-government or anti-state,” Tawfiq told a workshop in the capital’s CIRDAP auditorium.

The government had no alternative but to go for rental power plants for fixing the power crisis quickly, but it (government) now faces the challenge of using the plants efficiently due to the abnormal price hike of oil on the international market, he mentioned.

When the agreements for the plants were signed, the price of furnace oil was Tk 26 per litre, but now it costs Tk 60 per litre, pointed out the adviser.

Tawfiq claimed that the government, since taking office, had significantly increased the country’s power generation capacity.

The daily average power production now hovers around 5,500 megawatts and more plants are being set up, he maintained. He was optimistic that public sufferings over power would ease in future.

The critics have just made theoretical remarks to undermine the government’s achievement, he complained. “You (critics) should rather thank the government for increasing power production.”

He further asserted that the production of natural gas had increased during the tenure of the present government.

“We have raised the production of gas to around 2,100 million cubic feet per day, which was around 1,700 mmcfd when the government took office,” noted the energy adviser.

The government is piloting a smart meter before introducing it in the country to ensure efficient use of power, he added.

Addressing the workshop, Muhammad Enamul Huq, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, said demand for electricity had increased by 14 percent this year and the present demand was 7,000 MW per day.

He stressed the need for efficient use of electrical appliances to save electricity.

Energy and Power, a fortnightly magazine on the power sector, organised the workshop on the theme, “Sustainable Development and Smart Grid.”