Several electricity poles were installed a few months before Ashuganj was declared to be under full electricity coverage on 27 August
Char Sonarampur under Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria is only around two kilometres from the Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited. But its residents have been without power for the past 40 years.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 27 August declared 100% electricity coverage in 31 upazilas, including Ashuganj.
More than 1,500 megawatts of electricity are being added to the national grid every day from 11 units of the Ashuganj power station, against the daily demand for about 12,000 megawatts in the country.
Several electricity poles were installed a few months before Ashuganj was declared to come under full electricity coverage on 27 August, raising hopes amongst the community for 100% electricity coverage. Despite the presence of those pillars, there is still no electricity.
Over 6,000 people currently reside in the char, which emerged on the banks of the river Meghna 100 years ago, and this char has been home to communities for 40 years. The area has a community clinic, as well as a government primary school.
Locals said their sufferings are heightened during the summer months without electricity. A handful number of well-off locals have made solar power arrangements at their own cost, while others have planted trees for relief from the summer heat.
Hari Shankar Das, a char resident, said, "No one seems to understand how we have suffered for 40 years without any electricity. It is unbearable in the summer. How did Ashuganj go under 100% electricity coverage, leaving us in darkness? This is like darkness under the lamp. I request the government to alleviate our sufferings."
Another resident Deepa Rani said, "It's so hot in the summer that our children can't study. We use hand fans, but for how long? We were promised electricity, but our hopes have been dashed so far."
"I can't sleep at night because of the heat. I go and sit by the river for some cool air. Children are getting sick due to the heat. If we get electricity, our misery will be over," said Supriya Barman.
Md Hanif Munshi, chairman of Ashuganj Upazila, said, "We are working hard to provide electricity to the char. We are hopeful that Char Sonarampur village will soon be illuminated with electricity. Then there will be no more misery for the people of the Char."
However, Sultan Mahmud, executive engineer of the Power Development Board's Ashuganj distribution division, said, "The char is in the middle of the river, so we have to deliver electricity connections with submarine cables, which is currently underway."