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PDB employees to launch fresh protest on Sunday

  • Published at 11:29 pm August 15th, 2016
  • Last updated at 11:29 pm August 15th, 2016

Instability still persists at Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) after two weeks of protest by its employees over PDB's decision to shift operational electricity of Rangpur and Rajshahi zones to North-West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (NWZPDCL). The protesters plan to announce new protest programme on Tuesday. Zahirul Islam Chowdhury, president of Bidyut Sramik League, said the meeting with State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Sunday ended without a fruitful solution, which is why new protest would be launched. Earlier, the PDB staff and officials, uniting under the banner of Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad, staged protest against the operation of NWZPDCL, which ended on Sunday. Nasrul told reporters that the government was planning to transform PDB into a corporation, similarly as Petrobangla and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation. He said PDB would now only act as an electricity generating company, and new companies were being formed to take over its distribution zones. “We agreed to PDB's transformation into a corporation, but on condition that any ongoing work by the NWZPDCL would be suspended immediately,” Zahirul said. “We will continue our protest. We have already placed our demands, now it is up to the higher authorities.” More than a decade after NWZPDCL was formed with some of PDB's distribution zones in the north, the PDB signed an MoU and a power purchase and sales agreement with the NWZPDCL on August 1 start its operation. But the Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad protested the decision and started agitation programme on August 2, putting the company's operational debut on hold. The protesting employeers of PDB held several programmes and mass abstention from work in protest for the last two weeks. As leaders of the protesters approached the State Minister Nasrul Hamid for solution, he along with Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan sought the prime minister's advices in this regard, before meeting with the protesters.