|Published : 20 Sep 2016, 23:51:27|
Big power plan to light backwoods CHT homes
FHM Humayan Kabir
The backwoods in the three hill districts will be lit with on-grid electricity as the government moves to expand power network into the impoverished region through upgrading the existing distribution systems.
Power Division officials said Tuesday they had undertaken a Tk 5.50 billion project to upgrade the power-distribution systems to serve some 56,000 customers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will bring 26 upazilas of all the three southeastern hill districts under its power-distribution system, they said.
"Most parts of the three hill districts are still out of on-grid electricity. Some of the households and other establishments use solar power. So, we have taken the move to supply on-grid power there," said a senior Power Division official.
He said the existing distribution system would be upgraded by replacing the 33/11-kilovolt (kV) substations in the distribution system.
Some new substations would also be installed to bring 56,000 fresh consumers under the on-grid power supply system, the official added.
The three districts -- Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari -- are basically home of ethnic people. Economically underdeveloped, the districts are in need of infrastructure development and energy supply for improving the economy and people's lifestyle.
BPDB officials said electricity-distribution systems built in the region in the past are very much inadequate for the economic development of the hill people.
"The planned power-distribution-system expansion will kindle a new hope for the people there as it will boost their economic activities," the power official said.
He said they had already sent a Tk 5.50 billion project proposal on the power distribution improvement in hill districts to the Planning Commission (PC) for approval.
"Soon after getting approval we will start the physical work on the project," he added.
The power board has planned to complete the distribution-system- improvement works by June 2019.