A total of 15 lac and 56 thousand metric tons of diesel will be needed for the irrigation season that would last from November this year to May of 2018. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has been directed to ensure this huge amount of fuel oil supply. Besides, a monitoring team of BPC will work to prevent anybody from collecting excess oil for irrigation.
The directives and declarations came out at a meeting on the demand for fuel oil in the irrigation season that held on 13th December at the Energy Ministry. Toufique-e-Elahi Chowdhury Bir Bikram, the energy advisor to the Prime Minister presided over the meeting. Among others, Energy Secretary Nazim Uddin Chowdhury, Chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Khalid Mahmud and other senior officials were present at the meeting.
According to the meeting sources, 80 percent of the tube well in the country is diesel-fired and rest of them are operated by electricity. During the irrigation season, diesel-powered deep tube well, shallow tube well, LLP (low lift pump), power tailor and tractor are used. Around 16 lakh 47 thousand such machines are used in any given irrigation season. Among these machines, 2,321 of them are deep tube wells and 11 lakh 12 thousand 91 are shallow tube-wells.
Toufique-e-Elahi Chowdhury said, “We must ensure sufficient stock of fuel oil for this season”. It is important to supply uninterrupted oil to the farmers in this season and that is why monitoring should be strengthened, he added.
According to the meeting sources, instructions and directives were given to BPC, Rural Electrification Board (REB), BIWTA, Chittagong Port Authority and Railway related companies to ensure the fluent supply of diesel throughout the whole country in due time and of course at a fixed price.
To make sure the constant supply of diesel throughout the season, Eastern Refineries Ltd (ERL) has been ordered to keep the oil reserves up to the certain mark for the entire season in the major oil depot companies of Chittagong. Besides, Baghbari depot and their 3 oil seller companies of the northern part of the country were also directed to keep the reserve up to the mark for the entire season.
The ministry sources claimed that, the demand for diesel in the country’s northern part rises up to 2 to 3 times in the irrigation season. In the summer and rainy season, up to 6,000 to 7,000 tons diesel is sold on a daily basis, which reaches up to 14 thousand tons per day in the irrigation season. To ensure a timely supply of diesel at a fixed price to the farmers in this season, the Chittagong BPC head office was instructed to set up a central control center in Chittagong at the end of this month. Meanwhile, for the coming Boro season, extra railway wagons are instructed to make available for a smooth and timely transport of the diesel.