Demand for Electricity: People got shot during the BNP govt while Awami League ensured 100% coverage

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Published on April 3, 2022
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It was the month of Ramadan in 2005 when ordinary people were in deadly condition due to the scorching heat of Kartik. Dhaka city is badly suffering from load-shedding, let alone the other parts of the country. People, finally, got agitated amid acute power crisis even during Iftar, Tarabi and Sehri. But at that time, Tarique Rahman, son of then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, embezzled thousands of crores of money in name of putting up electric poles – plunging the country into the darkness of power and gas crisis during the BNP rule.

The Awami League government increased the power generation capacity to 4,300 MW after assuming power in 1996. But rampant corruption of Tarique Rahman during BNP rule brought the capacity down to only 3,200 MW – half of which was supplied to some elite areas of Dhaka, and the other half was allocated for the whole country! As a result, the country witnessed unprecedented power shortages even in winter from 2001 to 2006, affecting the agricultural and industrial sectors of the country.

During the BNP-Jamaat misrule, teachers in Dhaka had to take school classes by lighting candles during the day regularly. Lack of electricity also disrupted water extraction in the city, causing unbearable public suffering that led to protests in the capital.

Farmers became dependent on diesel-powered irrigation pumps for cultivation due to the lack of electricity in the rural areas then. Taking the chance, the 'Hawa Bhavan' syndicate also hiked the price of diesel and fertilizer. However, people started waging protests in different parts of the country against the corruption and anomalies of the Tarique-Mamun gang.

However, the BNP men started attacking ordinary people and vandalizing their houses if anyone talked about the electricity. Even, the BNP government forced the law enforcement forces to shoot at people demanding electricity which led to the deaths of more than one hundred people. Several thousand people were also injured in different attacks by the pro-BNP government forces.

In January 2006, at least 20 ordinary villagers were killed in Kansat of Chapainawabganj only for demanding electricity for irrigation and for protecting themselves from the scorching heat. In September, BNP-Jamaat forces swooped on civilians in at least 40 districts. Thus Tarique Rahman and his associates smuggled thousands of crores of money abroad by establishing a reign of fear and murder and plunging the country into the darkness of anarchy.

But how are the people in the village today? Electricity has reached every house leaving the hurricane lamps of the remote village for the museum. When Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, formed the government again in 2009, 47 per cent of the country’s population had access to electricity in their house, even only for a few hours in 24 hours. But now, with the third consecutive term of the Awami League government, the whole scenario has changed in just 13 years. One hundred per cent of the people in the country are now enjoying electricity facilities for 24 hours. Load shedding has been now history for the people in the capital. The new generation does not know that many had to die in open fire for demanding electricity in the country! It may seem incredible to them, so please go through the old newspapers published in the BNP period.

Today's Bangladesh is completely new as the country has changed. Bangladesh has become a digital state with the 100% of electricity. The whole country is enlightened today because of the visionary leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the diligence of the government. We are now moving towards the developed world thanks to the indomitable efforts of the people. We no longer want to drive the new generation to the darkness of the past. So, say Joy Bangla to go ahead and ensure a better future for all.