Bangladesh back in power play, almost
Published: 2014-11-02 00:43:05.0 BdST Updated: 2014-11-02 04:15:45.0 BdST
Bangladesh breathed easier close to midnight on Saturday with power being restored to 80 percent areas of the country.
The outage started at around 11:30am, affecting industrial production and various services including health and water supply.
The situation worsened when the power grid tripped a second time following “hasty” restoration efforts.
Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) officials said power supply to only 20 percent areas of the country remained to be restored.
"At this moment, 4000 megawatt electricity is being fed into the National Grid. Power is being supplied to 80 percent areas (across the country). The other areas will receive power soon," PGCB Managing Director Masum al-Beruni told bdnews24.com at around 11:30pm.
Earlier, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid Bipu hoped that the situation would stabilise by midnight.
"Right now, 1500 MW electricity is being added to the National Grid. I hope the recovery will be complete by midnight," he had said around 9:45pm.
The demand for power across Bangladesh on Saturday was 6,600 MW. But only 700 MW was being supplied in the afternoon during the restoration process when the second collapse occurred.
The supply rate dropped to 200 MW after that, Power Secretary Monowar Hossain had said.
The outage had hit the garment factories running shipment deadlines for export hard. Most of them had back-up capacity for a maximum three hours.
“This marathon outage was unprecedented and we are prepared for only two-three hours of power cuts daily,” BGMEA Vice-President Shahidullah Azim said.
Factories with shipment deadlines made desperate arrangements. Their representatives – other people too – queued up at oil depots to get diesel for their generators.
Many private hospitals managed the power crunch with generators unlike some of the government-run hospitals around the country including Dhaka’s National institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR).
"The patients are suffering as we don’t have a generator," NITOR official Kalam Patwari said.
The blackout, though, was a blessing in disguise for candle sellers. They sold their wares at a premium.
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