The companies were also told to send clients their billing information via SMS by June
The country’s six power distribution companies have said they will be providing advance warning of load shedding via SMS.
The Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources ordered the companies to take such measures.
The companies were also told to send clients their billing information via SMS by June, reports Bangla Tribune.
Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) Managing Director Bikash Dewan said the company has already begun sending clients in Dhaka’s Shamibag and Kakrail, advance warning of load shedding by SMS, and that the process of setting up the same procedure in other areas is underway.
A high-ranking official of Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (DESCO) said clients in Gulshan are receiving advance warning of load shedding already, but not all clients are receiving the service. He also said work was underway to gradually spread the service to all corners of DESCO’s coverage.
Power Development Board (PDB), West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (WZPDCL), and Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd (NESCO) have also informed the Power Division that they are working on such advance warning systems.
A source at the Power Division said, 100% of clients are supposed to receive load shedding and billing information via SMS by June of this year. Distribution companies were asked to inform the division of their latest progress regarding the SMS notifications at a coordination meeting with the Power Division on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, PDB said 71.52% of their clients have started receiving billing notifications via SMS.
Rural Electrification Board (REB) said roughly 73.50% of their client base is receiving this service, while DPDC is providing the service to 86% clients. Meanwhile, DESCO is giving the privilege to 90% of its consumers.
However, clients using prepaid meters are not included in this service.
REB also said WZPDCL is sending SMS messages to 86.70% of their consumers, while NESCO is lagging behind, with only 48% of clients being covered by SMS.
Asked about the matter, fuel expert BD Rahmatullah said: “According to the government’s master plan, load shedding was supposed to be non-existent from 2014. However, it is still happening regularly, and the supply of electricity is nowhere near client demand, leading to scarcity-related issues. The government should focus on increasing the production of power.
“This SMS warning system is nevertheless a good initiative. This gives clients a chance to plan their activities and take precautions before a period of load shedding,” he said.