BNP announces nationwide protest over power, water tariff hike
Describing the government’s move to increase the tariffs of power and water as an ‘anti-people move’, BNP has decided to organise human chain programmes across the country, including the capital, on Monday in protest against it.
In the capital, the party will observe the human-chain programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club from 11am 12pm.
Besides, BNP postponed its today’s (Saturday’s) scheduled rally in front of its Nayapaltan central office as it was denied permission. The party has decided now decided that its all thana units in capital will stage demonstrations on Sunday protesting the government’s ‘obstruction’ to the rally.
Party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programmes at a press conference at its Nayapaltan central office, UNB reports.
As part of its countrywide programme, BNP was scheduled to hold a rally at Nayapaltan at 2pm today protesting the rejection of its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s bail petition in Zia Charitable trust graft case.
Rizvi said they sought permission for the rally by sending a letter to Dhaka Metropolitan Police, but they did not get any response.
“Police have taken position in front of our office since morning while our party leaders and activists are not allowed to enter the office. We’ll stage demonstrations in all thanas of the city on Sunday protesting the police obstruction to our rally,” he said.
The BNP leader voiced concern that after hiking the power tariff, the government has also raised the water price to inflict 'immense sufferings' on people.
“The consumers now will have to buy water of Wasa with 25 per cent increased price, but there is no guarantee whether it will be pure. Awami League has raised the water price for 13th time in its 12 years' rule. The government has taken these anti-people to continue its plundering and exploit the country’s people,” he alleged.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) on Friday announced to hike the water tariff for both residential and commercial users.
The price of per unit (1,000 litres) of water has been fixed at Tk 14.46 from the existing Tk 11.57, a rise by 24.97 percent, for residential users while Tk 40 from the current Tk 37.04, up by 9.94 per cent, for commercial consumers.
The new rates will come into effect on April 1, the notice said.
On Thursday, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced to increase the power tariff on a weighted average by 5.3 per cent at retail and 8.4 per cent at wholesale levels.
The new tariff will come into effect on March 1, said newly-appointed BERC Chairman Md Abdul Jalil, while announcing the decision on Thursday at the Commission's auditorium.
This is the ninth time Awami League government has increased the power tariffs in a decade.