Vol. 4 Num 213 Wed. December 31, 2003  

RU ignores UGC order, gives over Tk 2.5 cr subsidy on power a year
Heaters used for keeping rooms warm

The Rajshahi University authorities give over Tk 2.5 crore subsidy on electricity consumption on the campus every year, ignoring a UGC (University Grants Commission) directive to reduce the subsidy.

The university gives around Tk three crore power bills a ayear but realises only around Tk 13 lakh from consumers, sources at the accounts section said.

The rest amount is given as subsidy by the UGC.

The sources said UGC on several asked the RU authorities to check misuse and reduce the subsidy, but to no effect.

"It has become a regular practice now that the UGC gives orders every year (to reduce subsidy) and the RU authorities remains bent on seeking more allocation on power sector", commented RU Accounts Section Director Anwar Hussain while talking to this correspondent recently.

It is alleged that consumers on the campus use high-power electric heaters in cooking. Some of them use heaters even to dry clothes during rains and to keep houses warm in winter, sources said.

Even in the administrative building, heaters are used to keep rooms warm in winter.

Besides, there is system loss.

Official sources said several attempts to check misuse went in vain due to alleged inaction by the committees formed to check misuse.

High officials, including the vice-chancellor, pro-vice-chancellor and treasurer and residents students at 14 dormitories who use the maximum power are exempted from paying bills.

Other teachers, officials and employees who reside university quarters on the campus are charged as low as Tk 0.40 per unit. This is one of the cause s of misuse of power.