Innovative power plants
Author / Source : MD JAMIL KHAN
[KERANIGANJ: Serious load-shedding has compelled the residents to hire barges and set generators on them. Photo: Tarif Rahman] DHAKA, JUNE 2: It is not government-sponsored quick rental project but rental it is. Endemic power shortage, and load-shedding have compelled the people to devise the way as an alternative source of power when the existing plants cannot meet the demand. Such plants are found in Keraniganj where a group of people supplies electricity to several markets by installing a dozen generators on a drum barge. The barge was anchored in the river of Buriganga.
Saiful Islam, owner of the M.D. Alamnagar drum barge said, “We are operating the business for more than a year in order to give support to businessmen of the area in cheap rate.”
“But this year, the power crisis of the area has crossed the limit than earlier as we only get electricity for two hours in a day,” Saiful said adding, “If the authority concerned do not take initiative to increase the condition then we have no other option but to shut the businesses from here.”
Visiting the area, this correspondent found that six barges have been set up on the area having the capacity of providing two megawatt of electricity daily. It provides electricity, sometimes for 13 hours, to 3000 shops and 700 small garment factories which have grown on the bank of the Buriganga under Keraniganj.
Those who are taking the electricity service from the barge are the owners of Khaja Super Market, Alam Tower, Sahidul Alam, S. Alam and garment factories at Sholu Towers.
The owner of the barges charge Tk 300 for a bulb, Tk 800 for a machine of a factory and Tk 500 for a fan a month.
They need 10 barrels of oil everyday to run a generator normally. One barrel of oil costs Tk 12 thousand. In the process they spend Tk 1.2 lakh daily. But these days they have to spend Tk 2 lakh daily as the demand is rising every day.
It is our good luck that this commercial service is providing us electricity to keep our work going without any interruption, said Sahidul Islam, owner of a garment factory.
If they shut their service, then we don’t know what will happen for us and minimum 700 small factory owners of the area, he added.
The drum barge is not only supporting the business community of the area but also creating employment facilities for the jobless people of the area. According to sources, a total of 120 people are working in the six drum barge of the area. The workers said that earlier their family was in very poor condition but they are now living happily.
Mohammad Aziz, an operator of the barge said, “Earlier, I would spend a very miserable life with my family members but now I am happy as I am getting a standard salary from the owner of the barge.”
Mohammad Mizan, an inhabitant of the area said, “The barge owners are doing a valuable work as they are helping the business community to run their businesses by giving uninterrupted power supply.”
He also urged social NGOs of the country to come forward like this barge owner to help the people of the country so that they can lead a happy life and continue their regular work as electricity is essential for our daily life.