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Govt estimates 1,700MW power demand for boro irrigation

Staff Correspondent

The Power Division has estimated the demand of 1,700MW of power for boro irrigation in the coming season which would begin in January next year.
In last year’s boro season about 3.09 lakh electricity driven irrigation pumps consumed 1,519MW of power.
The power division, at an inter-ministry meeting on Thursday, placed a summery on the demand for power and primary fuel during next boro season.
Power division secretary Monwar Islam presided over the meeting. Besides power division, officials from several ministries concerned including rail, shipping and agriculture attended the meeting.
It was also estimated that the country’s highest demand for power during next boro irrigation season between January and May at 7,500MW which was about 7,000MW in last season.
Palli Biddyut Samitis under the Rural Electrification Board have 30,436 applications for power connections to the irrigation pumps that remained pending with a combined demand for 126.123MW of power.
The PDB has received 736 applications for power connections with a demand for 8.77MW of power while the West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited has received 84 applications with a demand for about 1MW of power.
According to the summary, four power utilities have received a total of 31,256 new applications for new power connections for irrigation. The new applicants demanded about 136MW of power.
The connections will be provided before the boro cultivation season begins, a power division official told New Age.
The meeting emphasised on implementation of ‘wet and dry’ method for irrigation so that the farmers do not run their irrigation pumps for more than eight hours a day.
The agriculture ministry and power, energy and mineral resources ministry have been claiming that the farmers irrigate more than what the paddy fields need.
Like previous years, the government set daily irrigation period between 11pm and 7am during next boro season.
At the meeting, power division assured that the power utilities would not have to divert electricity from urban areas to farmlands as another 1,000MW of power would be added to the national grid by this December.
Power secretary Monwar, however, asked the authorities concerned to ensure smooth supply of natural gas, fuel oil and coal to the power plants.
The authorities concerned were yet to estimate the demand for primary fuel to the power plants during the season, state-run Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur said.
He said that Petrobangla would be able to supply natural gas in line with the demand of power generation units.

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