Endemic corruption and poor government policy are responsible for the current failure of the energy sector, according to economists and experts.
They presented the view at a panel discussion titled “Bangladesh’s Energy Security and the Current Electricity Crisis” held in the auditorium of the city’s Gonoshasthya Nagar Hospital on Sunday.
Gonoshasthya Kendra organized the event under the chairmanship of its founder Zafrullah Chowdhury.
Former Professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Mr. Nurul Islam, read the opening speech of the discussion.
“The government should take more measures to curb the current power crisis plaguing the country,” he said.
The academic recommended using coal and gas for power generation and taking steps to immediately explore both energy sources.
The government should opt for power generation using water which would be cheaper, Nurul Islam suggested.
The expert warned of a serious energy and electricity crisis after eight or nine years if measures are not taken beforehand.
Zafrullah Chowdhury called on the government to form a commission for the energy sector composed of competent and neutral people.
He called on the government to take more action to overcome the current electricity crisis, saying banning battery-friendly bikes would affect the poor.
“The government could stop driving private cars across the country once a week,” he said.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Chairman of JSD ASM Abdur Rob blamed bad government policy and mass corruption for the energy crisis.
He called on opposition political parties to lead a movement to force the government to resign.
Economist and Gono Odhikar Parishad organizer Reza Kibria said the recent power crisis has exposed endemic corruptions in the Awami League government.
Referring to the issue of the government seeking a loan from the International Monetary Fund, he said it would be difficult to get the loan.
Nagarik Oikya Chairman Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the government would not be able to cope with the failure of the country’s economy.
Calling the government a lair, he added that there was no alternative for the government but to step down from power.
Ganosamhati Andolan’s chief coordinator, Zonayed Saki, demanded that those corrupt in the energy sector be brought to justice.
He called on the government to refrain from mining coal by the surface method.
Revolutionary Workers’ Party General Secretary Saiful Huq said the government should take immediate steps to explore for a new gas field.
Gono Member Secretary Odhikar Parishad Nurul Haque Nur, Leader Bannishikha Jamali, Bhashani Onusari Parishad Member Secretary Habibur Rahman and Gonoshasthya Press Adviser Kendra Jahangir Alam Minu among others spoke at the event.