Electricity supply in the Sylhet region will resume anytime tonight, say officials
All of Sylhet district and parts of its adjoining Moulvizabar, Sunamganj, and Habiganj are currently experiencing an electricity outage after a power station caught fire.
The power supply disruption -- causing suffering to tens of thousands of consumers -- occurred in the aftermath of a fire that broke out at the Kumargaon 150 MW Power Station of Sylhet Sadar upazila at around 11:30am on Tuesday.
However, no casualties were reported in the accident. As of 8:30pm on Tuesday, a dire situation prevailed in the affected areas.
Despite the authorities trying to fix the damage caused by the deadly fire, it has been more than eight hours since residents of Sylhet have had access to electricity.
“Earlier in the day, four firefighting units rushed to the spot to douse the blaze,” said Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Executive Engineer (Sylhet unit office) Fazlul Karim, nearly an hour after the fire had erupted.
"Two transformers have burned down already after the grid line caught fire. It will take quite some time to restore power supply back to normal," he added.
Meanwhile, Director (Public Relations) of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Saiful Hasan Chowdhury said at around 8:15pm that power supply would be restored sometime later in the night.
“I cannot stipulate any time, but can say that electricity supply in the Sylhet region will resume anytime tonight,” he added.
Saiful, however, could not initially determine the extent of the loss caused by the fire but said that no fewer than 150,000 consumers were suffering from the outage.
However, when contacted in the afternoon, he had said that it would take five to six hours for the situation to normalize.
Speaking of the damage suffered by the distribution lines, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Director (Public Relations) Saiful Hasan Chowdhury said that the power distribution lines had also been compromised by the fire, adding, “Repairs are underway. I am hopeful that power supply to Sylhet will resume by tonight,” reports Bangla Tribune.
Meanwhile, BPDB has formed a three-member committee, led by a high-ranking official, to probe the incident. It will submit its findings in three working days.
Candle sales boom
As the power outage has been prolonged with no sign of electricity supply resuming anytime soon on Tuesday, demand for candles has seen a dramatic rise in Sylhet.
Many having no power generators or alternative electricity supplies, resorted to buying candles.
Some shopkeepers said that they had sold large numbers of candles since Tuesday afternoon and had made great profit.
Regular civic activities have come to a grinding halt owing to the power outage, with countless people forced to sit idle as their mobile phones and other communication devices ran out of battery.
It will be recalled that nearly 500,000 people suffered due to a power outage in Mymensingh after a power substation caught fire in early September.