Vol. 5 Num 780 Sun. August 06, 2006  

Khulna people threaten to stop power bill payment
Rally gives Aug 21 deadline to ensure smooth supply

Braving rains, several thousand people marched streets of Khulna city and held a big rally yesterday, where civil society leaders urged the government to resolve the persisting power crisis in south-western region by August 21 and threatened of stopping bill payment for non-compliance.

The rally resolved that tougher agitation will be launched if specific steps are not taken for smooth power supply and to meet other demands of the people of south-western districts by the deadline.

Khulna Bidyut Adhikar Sangram Parishad (KBASP), a civic body organised the programmes.

Cross-sections of people from all the 31 wards of the city irrespective of political affiliations attended the programmes. The rally was held at the Shahid Maharaj square with Khulna Press Club president and a co-convenor of the Parishad Liaquat Ali in the chair.

It was conducted by Secretary Gof Gerater Khulna Development Co-ordination Action Committee (GKDCAC) Shaikh Ashrafuzzaman. The speakers included Khulna Citizens' Forum (KCF) President and freedom fighter Shaikh Abdul Qayyum, Principal Zafar Imam, Director of Rupantar (an NGO) Rafiqul Islam Khokon, Khulna Press Club Secretary AK Hiru, Dainik Purbanchal journalist Ahmed Ali Khan, Co-Convenor of KBASP Kazi Wahiduzzaman, BNP leader Nazrul Islam Manju, Awami League leader and former lawmaker Sikander Ali Dalim and president of Khulna District Bar Association Mujibar Rahman.

The speakers threatened the government to stop payment of electricity bills if their ten-point demand including smooth power supply is not met immediately.

Load shedding has virtually crippled life and the economy in south-western districts but the government did not do anything during its tenure to solve it. Besides students, it has badly affected all industries including shrimp processing units, which earn valuable foreign currency for the country, they said. Lives of patients are also threatened at hospitals due to load shedding, they added.

Liaquat Ali read out a declaration containing the 10-point demand which also include setting up of a power plant in Khulna.

People raised their hands and showed spontaneous support to any agitation programme to be taken up by the KBASP to realise the demands After the rally, a big procession was brought out.

Khulna Bidyut Adhikar Sangram Parishad brought out a procession and held a rally in the city yesterday demanding smooth power supply. Photo: FOCUS BANGLA