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UPDATE - Bangladesh relieved after 7-hour power blackout

UPDATE - Bangladesh relieved after 7-hour power blackout
Record-long power disconnection disrupted daily lives, discomforted citizens


By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Bangladesh returned to normalcy Tuesday night nearly after seven hours as the power supply was restored after a record-long nationwide blackout.

According to the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board and Power Grid Company, the main transmission line near the Jamuna River tripped, causing a national grid failure at around 2.05 p.m. local time (0805GMT).

As of 9 p.m. local time (0300GMT) power supply was restored almost all over the country, including the capital Dhaka.

Millions of people in Bangladesh on Tuesday were left without electricity due to a grid failure, the government's power utility company said.

"Due to problems in a transmission line, the power supply has been disrupted. All teams concerned are working to repair it," Nasrul Hamid, the state minister for power, told journalists in Dhaka. He assured to solve the problem within the "shortest possible time."

Zunaid Palak, a state minister, said on Facebook that power would be completely restored soon, including in the capital, which is home to more than 22 million people.

People from different walks of life complained about disruption in their daily lives, including in health and internet services.

"My mother is in a private hospital for treatment of dengue fever. The hospital supplied electricity only for two hours from alternative sources," Md. Jashim Uddin, a banker in Dhaka's Naya Paltan area, told Anadolu Agency.

The outage also discomforted citizens in the humid autumn weather.

"It is almost impossible to stay at home with kids in this suffocating hot temperature," Shahnaj Tanvir, a housewife in Dhaka's Malibagh area, said.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier assured to supply uninterrupted electricity, but to no avail.

The country's economic growth has been threatened by power shortages as daily blackouts are compounding the woes of the main textile industry, which earns most of the country's foreign currency. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest garment exporter after China.

"The country must ensure uninterrupted power supply to continue its impressive economic growth and to attract more foreign investment," said Abu Ahmed, a former economics professor at Dhaka University.

In a report last month, the Asian Development Bank said Bangladesh's economic growth would slow to 6.6% from its previous forecast of 7.1% in the current fiscal year.

source: News Feed
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