Complete success in ‘house to house electricity’ programme, an initiative of Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina, is now a cakewalk for Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) as it has already completed electricity coverage for 94 percent people of the country. According to BREB, before the scheduled timeframe is over, they will ensure 100 percent electricity coverage in the country to mark the ‘Mujib Barsho’, the centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth.
BREB Chairman, Major General Moin Uddin (Retd) told Bangladesh Post, “Some 74,360 villages (88%) and 361 upazilas across the country are now under 100 percent electricity coverage. Of these, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated 100 percent electricity coverage programme of 211 upazilas. The people of the remaining villages and upazilas will come under 100 percent electricity coverage by 2020, the year for celebration of Mujib Barsho also.”
‘Electricity is the main driving force for the overall development of the country. The officials and employees of the 80 Palli Bidyut Samity under BREB is providing electricity to the people’s homes as ‘Alor Feriwala’, the peddler of light, which has greatly reduced customers harassment,’ he added.
The Chairman said that during the current government the success of Bangladesh Palli Bidyut Samity has been sky-rocketing. The annual development programme (ADP) implementation rate was almost 100% in the last five years under the initiative of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board. BREB has 2 crore 75 lakh users out of 3 crore 53 lakh users in the country.
‘In Mujib Barsho, 100 percent people under REB’s geographical area will enjoy electricity facility. Through this, the task of building the 'Sonar Bangla', the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, will go towards completion and accelerate the implementation of the current government's electoral commitment 'My Village My City', a top official said.
REB director Mohammad Anwar Hossain told Bangladesh Post that there are 4 lakh 72 thousand distribution line and 1 thousand 3 sub-stations with capacity of 12,485 MVA under the REB and they are supplying continuously 7,000 MW of electricity in the rural area. Currently its system loss is only 10.91 percent, which was 18 percent in 2008. The system loss was reduced around 7.09 percent in a very short time.
‘Around 55.56 lakh hectares of land has been brought under irrigation through nearly 3.5 lakh electric connections. As a result, food production has increased. It has become possible to use computers, multimedia projectors and other modern equipment’s due to providing electricity connection to 87,616 educational institutions including around 19,000 primary schools. As a result, the quality of education is increasing in the rural area. The religious rituals are getting better and easier due to providing electricity connection to religious institutions including 3 lakh 40 thousand mosques, temples and churches,’ he continued.
The Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board is the pioneer in the country for the promotion of renewable energy, especially the use of solar power. In 1993, Palli Bidyut Samity was introduced first to install 15,250 solar home system under a project in Bangladesh. After 45 years of independence, Palli Bidyut Samity has constructed 308 kilometers distributions line and supply of electricity to 11,882 families in ‘Chhitmahal’ in a very short time under the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on October, 15, 2015. As a result, there is a touch of development in all these areas.
Under the Prime Minister's priority project of ‘Ashroyon Prokolpo’ (a project for home for homeless), it has been provided power supply to 19,478 families in 919 project-villages to rehabilitate the homeless, landless, helpless people.
Recently, the government announced the establishment of 100 special economic zones to set up industrial institutions in different regions of the country. Most of these economic zones are located in the geographical area of the Palli Bidyut Samity. In view of this, plans are being made and implemented for the construction of electrical infrastructure and development of existing infrastructure to supply uninterrupted and quality electricity to these economic zones.
In order to build the Digital Bangladesh of the Prime Minister, Palli Bidyut Samity has launched various activities including providing online electricity connection, taking bills by online, managing the goods by online. To ensure the availability of information and services to the people living in the rural areas, Digital Information Centre (DIC) has been set up in 4,554 union parishads (UOs). As a result, the information and services of the village people have been made easier and employment opportunities have been created for unemployed youths.
REB has taken an initiative to implement 'Paperless Office' by 2020, which is underway in REB and its 80 Palli Bidyut Samity. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, Sheikh Hasina's initiative - electricity from door to door, Palli Bidyut Samity is continuing ‘yard meeting’ in the rural area.
Palli Bidyut Samity is working tirelessly to fulfill the promise of PM's innovative initiative to deliver 'electricity from door to door' to build 'Digital Bangladesh'. In the fiscal year 2018-2019, Palli Bidyut Samity achieved the 'National Purification Award' and the 'Innovation Showcase-2019 Award' for the initiatives of 'Alor Feriwala' by the Power Division.
In 2018, REB got an acceptance for provider of quick electricity connection and service, and in 2016 it achieved 'best government electricity supplier organization' award and certificate by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In addition, the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board has been awarded as the ‘highest VAT paying’ organization by the National Board of Revenue (NBR). This success has been achieved with the vision of the present government, good leadership, commitment to the people, teamwork of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board and above all with the sincere cooperation of all.
80 Palli Bidyut Samity have already provided electricity connection to 1 lakh 63,158 small industry, 12,410 middle industry and 342 large industry across the country. In the rural areas, public transport is now being facilitated by easy bikes. Moreover, Easy Bikes have a huge role to play in transporting goods. For the battery charging of the Easy Bike, 14 solar charging stations and 1,671 grid charging stations have been set up. So far 133 solar net metering system has been set up under the supervision of 21 Palli Bidyut Samity.
The Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board and the Palli Bidyut Samity have already been able to achieve good reputation at home and abroad by providing proper management, quality services, transparency, accountability and efficiency in the rural electrification programme.