By- Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury | Date- Paril 25, 2012
Every alternative hour – even during the deep hours of the night, residents of Dhaka city will surely face load-shedding, while the situation in the rural areas in the country is much worse. The current ruling party, which assumed in the office in January 2009 made specific pledges to the people to resolving the power crisis in Bangladesh mostly within three years, though the reality is just opposite. Industrial sector in the country has already got screwed due to such unimaginable scarcity of electricity, while the ruling elites are shamelessly claiming to have achieved remarkable progress in resolving the power shortage in the country. While the country’s political scenario now seems to be extremely vulnerable following enforced disappearance of opposition leader M Ilias Ali, most of the political pundits feel that the power crisis and the unending sufferings of the people in Bangladesh may erupt a mass-upsurge at any time with unimaginable intensity, which may even become a great challenge for country’s democracy itself. The ruling elites are certainly aware of the possible consequences, which is clearly exhibited in their actions and deeds as well as Nazi styled fascism on the agitated masses in the country.
In today’s Bangladesh, while load-shedding is the name of major cause of sufferings of the people, enforced disappearances has already traumatized the entire nations, especially the politicians, civil society elites and members of the media to such an extreme extent that, many are even seeing the country, gradually turning into a valley of death and horror.
Many of the critics of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina even admit her sincerity and tendency in resolving various critical issues, including that of the acute power shortage, while it is told that her sycophants and some of the close aides including few extremely greedy members of the Special Family are nefariously looking for making money by hook or crook, thus partially or totally ignoring the sufferings of the citizen. Much debated quick-rental power station concepts were originally imported in Bangladesh and subsequently planted into the minds of the ruling elites by the energy advisor of the current Prime Minister. There are undocumented rumors of energy advisor’s discrepancies centering this internationally questioned and controversial quick-rental power plant contracts. Now-a-days even many of the insiders of the ruling party are criticizing the quick-rental power plants stating, it is nothing but mere quick money making machines of few unscrupulous groups as well those influential figures and ruling elites. While ninety-percent of the quick-rental power plants in Bangladesh have already failed in producing any or nominal electricity, the energy ministry is surprisingly seen very enthusiastic in signing few more contracts with the aspirants of such plants, which once again evidently prove the degree of greed within the ruling elites in Bangladesh. On careful scrutiny, it will become crystal clear that almost all of the quick-rental power plants in Bangladesh had been awarded to either cadres of the ruling party or people very close to the power-circle.
The failures of the quick-rental power stations in generating electricity are not only causing huge sufferings of the people, just because of chronic load-shedding, but also it is compelling the entire nation in paying exorbitant prices of the electricity and gas as well as sky-high prices of the petroleum products. The wildest ever increase in prices of petroleum and energy has also put huge adverse affect on country’s industrial and agricultural production sectors.
At least 35 percent of the industrial projects in the urban areas have either shut down or on the verge of shutting while the situation in the rural areas are certainly much worse. Foreign investors are showing no interest in putting their money into total uncertainty by investing in Bangladesh. There is no hope of any improvement of country’s acute power crisis in near future. Energy experts are making the policymakers in the energy ministry and particularly the energy advisor liable for such huge failure of the government in resolving the power crisis in Bangladesh, even slightly during past three plus years. The government on the other hand, including the Prime Minister is not seen slightly concerned at such huge sufferings of the people.
The worst-ever complaint against the quick-rental power plants is they are getting fuel at subsidized price from the state, while almost all of the quick-rental power plants are accused of selling the fuel (mostly diesel) in the black market thus cashing huge amount of profit every day. On the other end, existing power plants in the private sector, many of which now has also been grabbed by the people enjoying blessings from the ruling elites are heavily indulged into false billing, thus virtually looting millions of dollars from the national exchequer on a regular basis. Tendency of false billing by the power plants has already turned into an incurable disease especially during the tenure of the current government.
While the acute power crisis and gross corruption and looting of public wealth is continuing in the energy sector, the ruling party is surprisingly showing damn-care attitude towards the entire situation, as they possibly have conceived the policy of ignoring the people totally and applying Nazi styled fascism on anyone who would protest or revolt against the failures or wrong-doings of the ruling party and the ruling elites. In the history of Bangladesh, this is for the first time, a government is failing to understand people’s aspiration while applying various form of repressive, oppressive fascist actions on the people, thus booting human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of speech thus greatly screwing the democracy and democratic institutions.
There is no room to debate that Bangladesh’s democracy is once again derailed. The country has already entered the hugely dark era – unfortunately! People are suffering! They are surely frustrated and many of them are already annoyed with what is happening in today’s Bangladesh. No one wants to think of, even in their wildest dream of a political tsunami in the country, though such risks are valid enough.