While the scorching heat of (Bengali month) Kartik caused unbearable suffering to people during Ramadan in 2005, incessant power outages worsened by the corruption of BNP leader Tarique Rahman in the power sector sent people to their breaking point, said prime minister's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy on Sunday.
Referring to the 2005-Ramadan period, he mentioned that Dhaka city was badly suffering from load-sheddings, let alone the other parts of the country.
"People, finally, got agitated amid acute power crisis even during Iftar, Tarabi and Sehri. But at that time, Tarique Rahman, son of then prime minister Khaleda Zia, embezzled thousands of crores of money in name of putting up electric poles – plunging the country into the darkness of power and gas crisis during the BNP rule," Joy wrote in a Facebook post.
While the Awami League government increased the power generation capacity to 4,300MW after assuming power in 1996, rampant corruption of Tarique Rahman during BNP rule brought the capacity down to only 3,200MW – half of which was supplied to some elite areas of Dhaka, and the other half was allocated for the whole country, he added.
"As a result, the country witnessed unprecedented power shortages even in winter from 2001 to 2006, affecting the agricultural and industrial sectors of the country."
"During the BNP-Jamaat misrule, teachers in Dhaka had to take school classes by lighting candles during the day regularly. Lack of electricity also disrupted water extraction in the city, causing unbearable public suffering that led to protests in the capital."
Twenty villagers were shot dead all because of protesting in demand of electricity in Kansat of Chapainawabganj in January, 2006, he further said.
"Farmers became dependent on diesel-powered irrigation pumps for cultivation due to the lack of electricity in the rural areas then. Taking the chance, the 'Hawa Bhavan' syndicate also hiked the price of diesel and fertilizer. However, people started waging protests in different parts of the country against the corruption and anomalies of the Tarique-Mamun gang."