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Entire Sylhet to come under electricity coverage this year, say officials

SYLHET, Jan 5, 2018 (BSS) - The massive campaign for expanding power facilities across the country has brought so far 90 percent areas of Sylhet under electricity coverage and officials concerned are now expecting that power connections to reach rest parts of the district by this year.

"We have provided power connections to about 90 percent areas of the district in the last nine years and electrification works in the remaining areas are expected to be completed within the stipulated time set by the government," said Engineer Md Mahbubul Haque, senior general manager of Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-1.

Sylhet Sadar and Fenchuganj upazilas have already been brought under cent percent electricity coverage while electrification works have almost been finished in Dakshin Surma and Beanibazar upazilas, officials say, ensuring that rural areas of all the 13 upazilas of the district will be brought under cent percent electricity coverage within this year.

Official data shows about 90 percent electrification works have been completed in Bishwanath, Balaganj and Golapganj upazilas while about 80 percent works in Jaintiapur upazila.

Electrification works are set to be completed in Osmani Nagar and Zakiganj upazilas by June this year while works will be completed in Gowainghat, Kanaighat and Companiganj upazilas by the end of this year.

"Installation of 795 kilometres power transmission lines out of 830 kilometres is completed in Bishwanath upazila and we will complete the remaining 35 kilometres lines within a week or two," Mahbubul Haque said.

He said construction works of power transmission lines will be completed in Gopalganj and Osmani Nagar soon and it is expected that Zakiganj upazila would be brought under cent percent coverage of electricity coverage by June next.

The official data, collected from Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-1 and 2, revealed that a total of 2,01,196 electricity connections were given to subscribers in 13 upazilas of the districts during the last nine years of the Awami league government (2009-2017). Some 1,13,000 new power connections were given under Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-1 while 88,496 connections under Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity- 2.

About 2,265 kilometres electricity transmission lines have, so far, been set up in eight upazilas of the district under Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-1, bringing 2,143 villages out of 2,345 under power coverage. A total of 1,400 villages were brought under power coverage during the nine-year tenure of the government.

Besides, 1,700 kilometres electricity transmission lines were installed in the remaining upazilas under Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-2, which brought some 1,019 out of 1,214 villages under electricity coverage. About 464 villages were brought under electrification coverage in the last nine years.

Abu Hanif Miah, general manager of Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-2, said about 70 percent electrification works were completed in the areas under Sylhet Palli Bidyut Samity-2, but the remaining works are expected to be done by the end of this year.

People of the district have already started getting benefits of electrification in various sectors, including agriculture, industries and education, to improve their lifestyle.

"Once our village was deprived of electricity...we got power connections a few days ago. Now we can use electric water pumps for irrigation. We're now producing more crops using water pumps," said Azir Uddin, a farmer of Lamaigaon village under Sadar upazila, adding that his children are doing better in their study after they got electricity connection.

Sylhet Sadar upazila chairman Ashfaq Ahmad said once there was a terrible situation of electricity in his upazila, but it was brought under electricity coverage in June, 2017.

"After bringing our upazila under cent percent electricity coverage, a new door is opened to set up industries here. The standard of rural students is being improved gradually as they are giving more concentration on their study," he said.

Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury, MP (Sylhet-3), said the country's power sector has seen a remarkable progress during the era of the present Awami League government.

"That's why the working hours of rural people have increased. Productivity in agriculture and industries also has increased as irrigation and agriculture become easy. So, rural people are now contributing more to the country's GDP," he said.