Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Loadshedding and unrest: DPDC demands strict security at its facilities

●    Letter sent to law enforcement agencies
●    High electricity demand in summer
●    Letter lists important installations of DPDC
●    Attacks on electricity offices, sub-stations in several places

Update : 11 Aug 2023, 01:08 PM

Dhaka Power Distribution Company has sought tight security from authorities so that no one can attack any of its facilities amid loadshedding or political unrest.

Sources said DPDC Deputy General Manager (Security) Rafiqul Islam recently wrote to law enforcement agencies on this issue. This letter was sent to RAB and the police as well as two influential intelligence agencies of the government.

According to the letter, loadshedding is occurring due to high electricity demand in summer, resulting in public dissatisfaction. Due to this, there is a security risk at power substations, control rooms and other DPDC facilities. In such a situation, it is necessary to strengthen security to deal with any kind of undesirable situation.

The DPDC official in his letter said the agency has installations for power distribution, such as 70 sub-centres, switching stations and 36 departmental control rooms, in most areas of the capital Dhaka, including at Bangabhaban, Ganabhaban, Prime Minister's Office, parliament and Secretariat and Narayanganj City Corporation area.

Besides, many important pieces of equipment or spare parts have to be used to keep power distribution running. These machinery or spare parts are kept in various stores, and DPDC stores are located in the Gazipur metropolitan area and Savar upazila of Dhaka.

The letter listed important installations of DPDC and requested round-the-clock deployment of police force and enhanced patrolling, citing the need to beef up security at those places.

Rafiqul Islam, deputy general manager (security) of DPDC, said: “Usually nobody attacks power stations or substations. However, we have sent the letter in the interest of security. All our power substations or KPI installations are always staffed by Ansar members. We have CCTV cameras. At the same time, law enforcement agencies have been requested to conduct regular surveillance.”

“Currently the local police station comes once a week and makes inquiries. Besides, the police patrol team also monitors the area. There is no security risk for now, but security has been strengthened.”

Sources said due to intense loadshedding in June-July, there have been attacks on power offices and substations in several places. The gate, furniture, door and windows of a Palli Bidyut office were attacked and vandalized in Chagalnaya, Feni.

In this incident, the DGM of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board filed a case as the plaintiff. Besides, recently some people also blocked a road in Sylhet demanding an uninterrupted power supply. A power station was also attacked in Patuakhali.

An official of DPDC said usually power plants in and around Dhaka are usually not attacked by the public. They understand that they themselves will be affected by this. But with growing political unrest, a third party may take the opportunity to embarrass the government. That is why security has already been beefed up.

The official also said law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been given the addresses of all KPI installations including important offices and sub-centres for electricity distribution in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.

An official of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said the letter from DPDC has been sent to all deputy commissioners (crime) and detectives of the DMP. All police stations concerned have been asked to take the matter seriously for surveillance and security.

Another DMP official said according to the list of DPDC, the zonal team members concerned have started surveillance. Regular plainclothes surveillance is also being carried out to prevent vandalism or any other untoward incident taking advantage of loadshedding or political instability.

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