October 20, 2021, 12:13 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2021-09-19 02:27:13 BdST

Bangladesh witnessing rapid increase in power consumers: Minister


The number of electricity connections has been increasing rapidly due to easy and flexible connection system, introduced by the ministry, according to officials familiar with the process.

“Efficient and time befitting initiatives taken by the present government also helped consumers getting electricity connections easily as well as a billing system,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said on Saturday.

He said currently the number of electricity connections rose to 4.09 crore, which was only 1.08 crore in 2009 and the irrigation connections stood at 4.46 lakh, which was 2.34 lakh in 2009.

“Access to quality and reliable electricity is no more a dream as the country’s 99.5 percent people are now getting a supply of power, which was only 47 percent before 2009,” Nasrul said.

He added that the government has been providing electricity connections within the shortest working hours and also encouraging online applications as part of paperless office campaign.

Nasrul said, “Not only this, we are working to bring all power cables and substations underground. We have installed distribution lines having an electricity facility of 6.14 lakh after assuming power in 2009, which was 2.60 lakh and the per capita power generation rose to 560 kWh, which was only 220 kWh in 2009.”

According to the ministry information, the number of power plants rose to 146, of which six are not in operation, while it was only 27 in 2009 and the generation capacity reached to 25,235 MW (Including captive), which was 4,942 MW (Including captive) in 2009.

The government has allocated Taka 28, 056 crore in 2021-2022 financial year in the Annual Development Programme (ADP), which was only Taka 2,677 crore in 2008-2009.

Nasrul Hamid also asked officials and employees concerned to increase communication with customers, which will solve many problems automatically.

“Power distribution companies need to have regular contact with customers. Efforts should be continued to satisfy 100% of the customers with services. We won’t allow any complaint from customers,” he added.

The State Minister said that it was the right of consumers to get better services, adding, “The government has a plan to deliver better services to each consumer at their doorstep, as consumers’ satisfaction should be our main goal. We have to work towards this goal.”

“Now the ministry is working unremittingly for building “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is pledge-bound to make ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by ensuring access to power for all citizens by 2021,” he said.

Recently a "Customer Satisfaction Survey" report was published by Infrastructure Investment Facilitation Company (IIFC) mentioning that 88% of consumers were satisfied with the electricity services.

“But we want 100% customer satisfaction. Distribution companies need to evaluate problems and complaints aimed at resolving those as early as possible. Each organization must have its own evaluation process,” Nasrul stated.

“I want 100 percent consumer satisfaction although the survey shows that 88 percent are currently happy with services. Client service will improve as soon as the service goes online and digital. We need to find-out why 52 percent of clients still rely on middle-men for connections,” he said.

The survey, conducted on a total number of 1,400 customers, shows that 94 percent of consumers are happy with the services they receive in getting power connections and 77 percent said they were happy receiving services after filing complaints.

Besides, 95 percent customers were happy with billing services and 88 percent with metering. As many as 88 percent said they were happy with the overall services in the sector, it said.

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