Vol. 5 Num 652 Wed. March 29, 2006  

Agitation Against Power Crisis in Satkhira, Jessore
Lawyers besiege PDB office, farmers block road

Lawyers yesterday besieged Power Development Board (PDB) office, damaged its furniture and window pans and assaulted the executive engineer protesting frequent load shedding and demanding smooth electricity supply.

The agitated lawyers who brought out a procession and held rally also threatened to burn down the office of the local PDB if the authorities failed to ensure smooth supply of electricity in the district within 72 hours.

A group of lawyers of Satkhira Bar Association led by its general secretary Advocate Shah Alam brought out the procession from the court premises as the district is experiencing severe load shedding for the last 15 days.

Local people also joined the lawyers' processsion and paraded the main streets of the town before laying a siege to the office of the PDB.

The processionists chanted slogans against the Resident Engineer (RE) of the local PDB holding him responsible for the severe load shedding. At one stage they attacked Executive Engineer Nabi Hossain and damaged the furniture and window pans of the office.

Later the lawyers held a rally at the main gate of the PDB office. It was addressed by, among others, Bar Association general secretary Shah Alam, lawyers Nurul Alam, Mustafa Lutfullah and Abdul Jalil.

Blaming the authorities for failure, the speakers said that life of over 18 lakh people in the district has become virtually paralyesd due to acute power crisis.

The irrigation of IRRI-boro cropland and production in the mills and factories in the district are being hampered due to power cuts, they said.

They alleged that the severe load shedding has been persisting in the district due to the local PDB officials' inefficiency and neglect and threatened to burn down the PDB office if the authorities failed to ensure smooth supply of electricity within 72 hours.

When contacted, Nabi Hossain confirmed the incident and expressed his helplessness saying they have nothing to do to resolve the crisis. "We are not getting sufficient supply of power from the national grid," he said.

Our Jessore Correspondent adds: Hundreds of farmers and villagers of Islali and Kashimpur Union under Sadar upazila barricaded the Jessore--Magura Road at Monoharpur Bazar point from 10 am to 12 noon yesterday to press home their demand for uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Hundreds of vehicles from Khulna, Benapole, Chittagong, Bagerhat and Satkhira were stranded on both sides of Monoharpur Bazaar due to the barricade.