Positive response from India to import
of electricity from Bhutan and Nepal: Power Advisor
Mar 11, 2007 Asia Pulse Data Source
Bangladesh has received a positive response
from India regarding the plan for importing electricity
from Bhutan and Nepal, as a measure for tackling the
prevailing crisis, Power and Energy Advisor Tapan
Chowdhury said Sunday.
He made this statement during a press
briefing at his Secretariat office after his return
from New Delhi where he attended the SAARC energy
ministers' conference last week.
The advisor said that, now, the Bangladesh
government is contemplating placing a formal offer
to the Bhutanese government to import electricity
from the Himalayan nation.
He, however, said electricity import
is a matter of long process that will take at least
three years time to make it happen, even if the countries
started the process today. "So, any decision should
be made immediately if we really want to import electricity
from a neighbouring country."
Terming the SAARC ministers' conference
a very fruitful one, Tapan Chowdhury said the import
of electricity is very much a regional issue, not
He noted that the issue was discussed
widely with all the concerned countries and all of
them showed a positive attitude. "India has a large
investment in Bhutan's hydropower sector, and if the
two countries agree to accept Bangladesh's offer,
then the issue of electricity tariffs could come into
discussion," he told journalists.
"But, in all the cases, Bangladesh will
take decision after protecting its own interests,"
The energy advisor said Bhutan has already
shown its interest in getting investment in its hydroelectric
sector from Bangladesh.
About the countrywide nagging power
crisis, Tapan Chowdhury said some power plants, including
80MW Tongi peaking plant, which remained off due to
gas shortages, would resume operation from middle
of June when the newly commissioned Bibiana gas field
would start its commercial operation.
He said the present decision to shut
down shopping centres at 7:00pm is a temporary austerity
measure and the government is very cautious so that
no businessman is harassed.