Reiterating her call to the people to be economical in using electricity, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government is going to introduce pre-paid meters across the country to check misuse of power and pilferage of its bill.
"Electricity is an asset of the country. So, I would like to request all to be economical in using power," she said while inaugurating 100 per cent electricity coverage in the country's 10 upazilas through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban here this afternoon.
The premier also urged the people of the country to use pre-paid metres to prevent wastage of electricity. "I would like to request the people to use pre-paid metres and switch off lights and fans when those are not necessary ... I seek cooperation of the people in this regard," she added.
Through the videoconferencing, Sheikh Hasina also opened Ashuganj 450 MW North Combined Cycle, Simple Cycle Plant (North) and Keraniganj furnace-oil based plant having 108 MW generation-capacity.
Moreover, she inaugurated transmission of additional 60 MW power from Tripura plant, India in radial mode.
The 10 upazilas brought under 100 per cent electricity coverage are: Mollahat and Fakirhat of Bagherhat, Hakimpur of Dinajpur, Kotchandpur of Jhenidah, Fenchuganj and Sylhet Sadar of Sylhet, Bheramara of Kushtia, Bhairab of Kishoreganj, Sitakunda of Chittagong and Narsingdi Sadar of Narsingdi district.
The prime minister's energy adviser Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu spoke at the function while power division secretary Ahmed Kaikaus gave an overview of the overall electricity situation in the country.
The prime minister's principal secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury moderated the function.
Later, the premier talked to the cross section of people, including public representatives, high officials, religious leaders, students, people with disabilities and tea labourers, through the videoconferencing.
The prime minister said the government is providing electricity to the people at 22 per cent subsidised rate than the production cost.
"The government is counting a huge amount of loss from power sector every year, but its priority is to the improvement of living standard of the people," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she herself switches off lights and fans when she comes out of the room of her residence.
"There is no shame to put off lights or fans by own hands," she said.
The premier said she doesn't need to pay electricity bill, as the government pays her bill. "People of the country belong to the government and assets of the people are damaged for misuse of electricity. So, why I would destroy the public property," she added.
Sheikh Hasina said there are some big and rich officials in the country who never switch off lights or fans by their own hands.
"They think that others will put off their lights and fans. As a result, the electricity is misused," she said.
The premier said her government is going to introduce pre-paid metres across the country to check misuse of power as well as to stop manipulation of electricity bill.
"We want to make this arrangement across the country to check wastage of electricity and stop manipulation of bill," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said there was a word in the past that "Sarkar Ka Mal Daria Me Dhal" (throw government's property into the water). "But I want that the people will use the government property by considering those their own assets," she added.