In a bid to understand people’s perception about the electricity sector, Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council (EPRC) and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is going to pair up and conduct a power survey across the country. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between these two organisations on May 30, 2016 at Bidyut Bhaban. Dr Ahmed Kaikaus, chairman of BEPRC and Mohammad Abdul Wazed, director general of BBS, signed on behalf of their respective organisations.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Dr Tawfiqe-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that this survey is going to be unique because it will be conducted over the cell phone. “This is a unique example set up by the Bangladesh government because to my knowledge, no other government body in any places across the world has ever done any survey in this manner,” he said. “The data collected from this type of survey will be able to build us a knowledge based society,” he said. Talking about the survey, the DG of BBS said that the survey is going to be conducted in two phases. The first phase will be conducted in this June and the second phase in January next year. In each phase the survey will be conducted over 12,560 households for 10 days in divisional levels across the country. Wazed said that the survey will be conducted through using cell phones instead of going to the households in persons. The phone numbers of the selected households will be collected from six mobile operators with the help of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The BBS DG informed that earlier a similar type of survey on electricity sector was conducted from BBS in 2014. That survey was conducted over 1800 households across the nation.
“But in that survey, we didn’t go division wise as it was of smaller scale. This time we will go division wise which will give a better representative picture of the field,” he said.
Dr Ahmed Kaikaus said BBS is a world class and reputed organisation. “We have full confidence over the survey and statistics of the BBS because they use rigorous scientific methodology in producing their data.”
Kaikaus said that to take the power sector of the country into the next stage, the government needs to know about people’s perception. “If we have appropriate data about people’s perception, then it will be able to aid us in shaping right policy.” AKM Mozammel Haque, secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division, also echoed Dr Kaikaus’s word, saying that appropriate statistics aid the government in shaping right policy. “This type of survey also takes the government into people’s doorstep,” he said.
Monowar Islam, secretary of Power Division, said that since 2009, after the present Awami League (AL) came into power, the electricity sector has become a success story. “But there is no end to improvement. There is still a lot to be done.” About the survey, he suggested that BBS should incorporate segmented opinions from the industrial and irrigation customers. Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell, suggested conducting the new survey as a continuation of the baseline survey which was conducted in 2014 by the BBS.
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