The country experienced a total of 1915 MW of load shedding on Tuesday, the first day of a new era of area-wise planned power cuts announced by the government, that many believed they had left behind for good.
"We generated a total of 12,442 MW of electricity against a demand for 14,400 MW. The load shedding was planned to be 1915 MW to cover the gap between demand and supply," said Shamim Hasan, newly promoted director, public relations, of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) at 8 pm on Tuesday.
Dhaka metropolis and its adjoining areas started facing power outages on Tuesday morning, with distribution companies (discoms) resorting to rationing of electricity to avert an energy crisis looming over Bangladesh.
A resident of the city's Tejgaon area said that they experienced an hour-long outage from 10am to 11am, while another resident of Niketon said that their area was without power from 11am to 12pm.
Mohammad Shahjahan, an executive with a leading company, said their office in Banani was without power for an hour from 12pm.
Following a high-level meeting at the prime minister's office on Monday, Prime Minister's Energy Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Choedhury announced the Bangladesh government's plan to resort to two hours of power cuts daily in each zone to tackle the energy crisis affecting electricity generation in the country.
Later in the day, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid apprised reporters of the revised decision of one hour of load shedding daily.
"Area-wise, we will go for an hour of power cut daily across the country, to start with. If needed, the decision will be revisited after a week," he said.
Following the government's decision, different power distribution entities - Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited - published their area-wise outage plans.
The government also announced a slew of measures for saving electricity, including the closure of shopping malls and markets by 8pm and the restricted use of air-conditioners. Plans are afoot to limit office hours and keep fuel outlets closed one day every week.
Residents of some areas, however, alleged that they had to experience frequent outages beyond the planned load shedding.
Abdur Rahman Jahangir, a resident of the city's Rampura area, said his area witnessed power interruptions several times throughout the day.
"On some occasions, the outages continued for 10-15 minutes," he told UNB.
Similar allegations were received from some other areas as well.
Officials of the discoms said the 10-15 minute interruptions are not part of load shedding. These may occur due to poor distribution lines which tripped when a load increased beyond the capacity, he added.
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