Power supply restored in most parts of Bangladesh

Electricity supply was restored in most parts of Bangladesh, some 12 hours after a massive nationwide power failure that plunged most parts of the country, including capital Dhaka and other cities, into darkness on Saturday.

The blackout that left factories and homes across Bangladesh powerless at around noon on Saturday continued till early morning on Sunday. In capital Dhaka, where around 10 million residents spent most of Saturday in the dark, rpower was restored around 1:00 am on Sunday.

Engineers at the control room of the Dhaka Power Distribution Co said power was restored in other major cities as well, but were not clear about how many people were still without electricity.

Dhaka's hospitals and the international airport continued to operate with the help of stand-by generators, although many offices had to send their employees back home.

Dhaka residents spent hours outdoors or on their roofs for most of Saturday night and loud cheers could be heard with power supply returning in phases after midnight.

''There is no power shortfall anywhere in the country. The supply is now fully normal across the country,'' junior power minister Nasrul Hamid told reporters after the outage which hit just before midday on Saturday.

''We've set up a probe committee to investigate. The committee has already started work and will submit its findings in three days.''

The ''technical glitch'' at one of the power sub-stations that receive electricity from India had a cascading effect triggering failures throughout the national power grid, with power plants and substations shutting down, said Masum-Al-Beruni, managing director of the state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd.

More than a third of Bangladesh's 166 million people still have no access to electricity, while the country often produces less than its 11,500-megawatt generation capacity.

Energy-starved Bangladesh started importing electricity from India late last year through a line stretching from West Bengal to southwestern Bangladesh.

Commentators say with India itself struggling to produce enough power, there seems no quick solution to the subcontinent's energy woes.