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17 July, 2019 09:47:38 AM

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Solar power changes lives of rural people in Patuakhali

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Patuakhali
Solar power changes lives of rural people in Patuakhali

Introduction of solar power by non-government organisations (NGOs) has changed the lives of rural people in remote char areas of Patuakhali district. Over 5,000 families in places such as Kalapara, Rangabali, Golachipa, Bauphal, Mirzagonj and Dashmina upazilas of Patuakhali district are using solar power—both for domestic and commercial purposes.

Grameen Shakti, Upokul and other NGOs are supplying solar panels to villagers in the district.

Grameen Shakti has been providing solar power for the past three years, said one of its officials.

“We are providing instalment facilities so that poor people in remote areas can afford solar power,” he added.

Limon Peyada, a business-stall owner of Barobaisdia village, told The Independent: “I have already set up a solar panel from Upokul at a cost of Tk. 27,000. After installing the panel on the roof of my shop, I’m using its power to light four bulbs and run one fan.”

Besides making life relatively easy, solar power is also helping the char people access information from home and abroad. The trend of using solar power is on the rise in the char areas, said Sabikun Nahar Lana, an inhabitant of Felabunia village in Rangabali area.

She urged the government to provide subsidy on solar panels to make them more affordable for poor people.

People of the mainland are also showing interest in solar panels as they suffer frequent power outages in the system provided by the PDB and the Rural Electrification Board (REB). They are now increasingly using solar power technology, made available by a few NGOs, to improve their lifestyle.

At least 800 solar power units have been set up in 15 char areas of Patuakhali district, NGO officials said.

Residents in remote char areas said the REB was not able to provide electricity connections to their homes. But solar power has changed their lives.

NGOs like Grameen Shakti, Upokul and Rolar are giving solar power appliances to char people against payments made in instalments

Each solar power appliance consists of a solar carbon panel, batteries and connection cables. They can supply power to a row of households simultaneously.

The NGOs bear the setting up and maintenance cost, which usually comes with a guarantee period of five years. The appliance prices range from Tk. 20,000-40,000, depending on power-generation capacity, which ranges from 20-500 watts.

The appliance can be purchased by depositing 15-20 per cent of its total cost as down payment. The remaining amount is repayable in 30-50 monthly instalments with an applicable service charge of 5-8 per cent.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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