• Monday, Dec 16, 2019
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Hundreds of people still in the dark in Bandarban

  • Published at 11:57 pm August 16th, 2019
Bandarban's Tanchi upazila-Dhaka Tribune
One of the villages in Bandarban's Tanchi upazila, which is yet to receive electricity connection Dhaka Tribune

The villagers said that even though the country gained independence 46 years ago, they are yet to have electricity

People of three villages under Thanchi upazila of Bandarban district have been deprived of electricity for more than four decades.

The villagers said that even though the country gained independence 46 years ago, they are yet to have electricity.

According to sources, at least 88 families of Trangkhang, 65 families of Changdak, 45 families of Apromong have been living in darkness and suffering due to lack of power.

Although locals in the villages have been seeing electricity poles scattered alongside the roads for three years, they are yet to get any power.

Education of almost 180 students of Timong Govt Primary School is being hampered due to lack of electricity. 

They said the people are deprived of even primary education, as no educational institute can properly function without electricity.

Though electricity was provided for 700 families of 13 villages including Balipara, Dakchhaipara, Hailmarapara, Baganpara, Komolabaganpara, Sadar Bazar, Headman Para, Mariumpara, Sadhu Joseph Mission Hospital, Bayak Headmanpara, TNT para in January, 2017, the three villages mentioned are still under darkness.

Union Parishad (UP) member and Apromong village resident Chaisiung Marma said: "Some of the villagers are trying to survive depending on solar panels; but only two or three families have access to them. The rest have to depend on natural light."

According to sources, in line with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's directives to provide electricity to every home by 2021, Bandarban's Member of the Parliament (MP) Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing inaugurated the construction work of Chimbuk Power sub-station on 26 November, 2016. A 64 kilometre electric transmission line was established from Bandarban Wai Junction to Thanchi Sadar upazila at a cost of Tk210 million to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

Numongprung Marma, a resident of Changdakpara, conveying his frustration over the matter, said: "We have been waiting for almost four decades for electricity in this region. We got electric transmission lines with few poles in some areas, yet the idea of electricity seems far-fetched.”

"Years of yearning to the authority has gone in-vain," he added.

According to 57-year-old Anupam Marma of Trangkhang, his longtime wish of living in a house full of lights has gone unfulfilled. “Though we have been seeing the electricity poles for many years, we are yet to have electricity in our houses.”

Since the poles are left unattended, children, in their free time, play games near the poles which lay scattered by the roadsides. These poles were transported here much to the joy of locals, who hoped that their villages would soon have electricity.

Former UP member and resident of Trangkhangpara Mangkhau Marma and Mangchau Marma alleged that even though several residents bribed the local contractors Tk20,000-30,000 each, they still have not received power.

Balipara Power Sub-station, In-charge Dilip Das said: "Three transformers in three villages can fulfil the minimal need for electricity, but if the authority does not take steps, we have nothing to do."