Saleh Noman, back from Sandwip
The people of Sandwip are now enjoying the fulfillment of their long-time dream of getting electricity from national grid after inhabitants of this remote island of the country started getting the power supply since mid-November through a cable networks set up under the Sandwip Channel.
From November 15, for the first time in the history dream turned into reality for the people of Sandwip, with the kick-starting of a supply of 10 megawatts electricity per day by Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) among 10 thousand people of the island.
Mentionable, the island, an upazila under the Chattogram district, is about 25 miles long and 3–9 miles wide and is separated from the Chittagong region to the east by the Sandwip Channel, one of the four mouths of the Meghna estuary, and from the Hatia islands to the west by the Hatia River.
PDB started the supply after setting up 18 kilometers long sub marine cables beneath of the Sandwip Channel was completed recently, at a cost of Tk 144 crore.
Prabir Kumar Sen, chief engineer of PDB Chattogram (south) told that two high-powered cable networks, each nearly 20 feet wide, have been installed from the ground level – one at Sitakunda region and another in Sandwip channel.
Under the project, a substation and two transformers have been set up and a total of 1,500 polls out of 1,800 have already been set up, the chief engineer said.
Enamul Haq, a business man of Sandwip Upzila headquarter told The Bangladesh Post: “We are getting electricity all day long, and never thought that electricity will be available in our birth place Sandwip.”
“Due to electricity, the new era of Sandwip has started, now we do not think that Sandwip is a backward area,” he added.
Fatema Khanam, a primary school teacher of Sandwip Pourasava area said no one felt safe to live in Sandwip due to lack of electricity for years. “Most of my family members are living in Chattogram city. There was no treatment or other facilities here. Now those problems will be overcome.” About 400,000 people live in Sandwip, the nearest island of Chittagong port. A significant portion of the inhabitants of this island are expatrates living in United States, United Kingdom and Middle East. As the leading Upazila of foreign exchange earnings the prospect of this island is huge, said people of Sandwip.
They further said to utilise the potential of Sandwip, the present government took the initiative to connect the national grid to the island. The initiatives to connect with the National Grid of electricity through sub-marine cable was taken and implemented by the present government lead by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
ZTT, a Chinese construction firms had been implementing the project from December 2017.
PDB has embarked upon the project styled as ‘Development of Electric Supply System in Chattogram Region’ in order to merge Sandwip island with the national power grid, PDB sources said.
Sources said a total of 60 megawatts electricity will be able to transmit by the two cables in next 50 years.
Prior to connection of National grid, PDB was supplying one megawatt electricity among 2,000 subscribers from 6 pm to 12 PM in some parts of Sandwip Island through a generator and solar panels.
Work of setting up a 50-kilometer supply line inside the Sandwip under this project is going on.
It is the reflection of the pledge Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made during her Sandwip visit in 2012,” Sandwip Municipality Mayor Zafarullah Tit Said.
Saleh Noman, back from Sandwip