Dhaka, Sept 15 (UNB) - The state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL), founded in 2007 as a generation entity for the country’s north-western region, has planned to generate 10,000 MW of electricity by 2030.
The company has already installed several power plants having a total generation capacity of 1070 MW.
“Now our target is to become a leading power generation company of the country,” said a top official at the NWPGCL.
In its latest move, the company signed a joint development agreement (JDA) on September 7 with German-based global leading power equipment and technology Siemens to set up an imported LNG-based 3,600 MW power plant by 2024.
As per the plan, the new plant will be located adjacent to the existing 1320 MW coal-fired power plant in Payra of Patuakhali district.
According to the deal with Siemens, the first phase of 1200 MW of the plant will be installed by 2021 while the second phase of 2400 MW plant by 2024.
“We’ll make our all-out efforts to implement the largest power project within the targeted time,” said AM Khurshid Alam, the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the NWPGL.
The officials said the NWPGCL primarily started with projects like Sirajganj 150 MW peaking power plant, Khulna 150 MW peaking power plant and Bheramara 410 MW combined cycle power plant.
It began providing electricity to the national grid in November 2012 after the commissioning of its Sirajganj 150 MW simple cycle power plant which was later upgraded to a 225 MW combined cycle one.
“We’ve successfully implemented the Sirajganj 225 MW combined cycle power plant, Khulna 225 MW combined cycle power plant, and Bheramara 410 MW combined cycle power plant within 10 years’ time,” said another NWPGCL official.
The NWPGCL is currently engaged in implementation of a good number of new projects like unit-3 of Sirajganj 225 MW, Sirajganj 400 MW (±10%) combined cycle power plant, Payra coal-fired 1320 MW thermal power plant under JVA with Chinese company CMG, Madhumati 100 MW HFO-based power plant, Rupsha LNG-based 800 MW combined cycle power plant and Sirajganj 7.6 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power plant projects.
After implementation of these projects, the NWPGCL officials said, its total installed capacity will rise to 3928 MW.
As part of future development projects, they said, there are seven power plant projects with the installed capacity of 6237.6 MW are under planning.
The NWPGCL will be able to supply some 7,000 MW of electricity within 2021 and 10,000 MW within 2030 to the national grid, said the company officials.
Rangpur, Sept 11 (UNB) - Cultivation of transplanted Aman paddy cultivation is facing a setback because of a drought-like situation in Rangpur region.
The croplands have dried up and the seedling is turning yellowish due to absence of rainfall and scorching summer heat, farmers said.
Mohammad Ali, meteorologist of the Rangpur met office, said this year the rainfall is less than the last year. Only 170 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in August this year but it was 600 millimeters in the same period last year, he said.
Inadequate rainfall has led to a near-drought situation in Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts.
Moniruzzaman, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangpur region, said to overcome the situation the farmers have been advised to continue supplementary irrigation by deep tube well or from surface water sources in the affected districts of the region.
The farmers of these areas have been trying to save the transplanted seedlings by irrigation from shallow and deep tube-wells, he added.
Asaduzzaman Afzal, farmer of Khashbag in the Rangpur city, said it cost Tk 1,950 for irrigation of his one and half acres of paddy field.
Another farmer Aminur Rahman of Sadar upazila, said he irrigated his two acres of land at a cost of Tk 2000.
Many farmers could not irrigate their lands properly due to the high cost of irrigation and now they are waiting eagerly for heavy rainfall, he added.
Now farmers are apprehending that the production cost would be up if the drought-like situation continues and they have to give irrigation from deep and shallow tube-wells for more days, sources said.
DAE sources said current season farmers cultivated Aman paddy on a total 10 lakh hectares of land in eight districts of the Rangpur division.
Naogaon, Sept 10 (UNB) – Farmers of the district are very happy this year due to the good price of jute after so many years.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), jute is now selling at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund while its highest price was Tk 1,500 per maund last year.
However, the land brought under jute cultivation this year is lesser than that of the past year as many growers did not take interest in cultivating it due to its low prices in previous years.
DAE sources said farmers cultivated jute on 7,200 hectares of land this time which was 8,300 hectares in the previous year.
Some local farmers said they will cultivate jute on more lands next year as they are getting good prices this year.
Sekandar Ali, a farmer of Enayetpur village in Manda upazila, said he cultivated jute on 40 decimals of land and the total cost of the production was Tk 8,000. He got Tk 22,000 selling his jute.
Farmers of Shitli Hasna village in Mohadebpur upazila said the price of per maund jute was Tk 800-900 three years back which increased to Tk 1,400-1,500 last year, and it is now selling at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund.
They are now making a profit of Tk 6,000-7,000 from per of bigha jute, said the farmers.
Some wholesale buyers of jute said they are buying jute from farmers at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund and they will sell it to mills at Tk 2,100-2,300 per maund.
DAE deputy-director Monojit Kumar Mallik said many farmers could not plant seedlings for heavy rainfall at the beginning of the season, which is the main reason behind the fall in jute farming.
If the weather remains favourable, the production will get a boost next year, hoped the official.
Dhaka, Sept 10 (UNB) – National Board of Revenue (NBR) has put a strong vigilance mechanism in place to keep tax evasion in check.
Official sources confirmed the UNB that NBR took the move as it does not want to underachieve its set goal of collecting a hefty Tk 2,96,201 crore revenue in financial year 2018-19.
NBR has asked the Investigation and Intelligence Cell (IIC) formed in each of its tax zones to strengthen their vigilance aiming to contain the tax evasion.
“As part of the programme to catch the tax evaders the NBR has asked the IIC to take effective steps regarding the matter,” a senior official of the NBR told UNB.
The directive was given at a recent meeting with the field level officials of the revenue collecting authority at the conference room of the NBR.
The NBR has asked the officials to look into the large taxpayers’ files properly. “They will send report to the Board regularly on their activities,” the NBR senior official said.
There are 31 tax zones across the country and each tax zones have 22 circle offices. These offices collect taxes directly.
The IIC has been formed in each tax zones with the commissioners of the respective tax zones as the head of the IIC.
The NBR official said that the aim of the IIC is to identify the evaders – individual or organization.
“By ensuring this it would be possible to increase the tax collection and the people will be discouraged to evade tax,” he hoped.
He mentioned that the Cell will audit the big taxpayers and find out whether there is any incidence of income hiding, check previous income declaration and hold regular meetings with them.
Besides, the NBR has asked the field level offices to remain vigil regarding the evading of taxes by the individual taxpayers.
There will be a regular yearly Tax Fair in the next month and after that the field offices will further enhance their vigilance.
"Generally we wait for the last date of the income return submission date and after that we intensify our drive," a field level tax official told UNB.
There are over 35 lakh e-TIN holders in the country now, a number considered very low for a country of 17 crore population.
For fiscal year 2018-19, the government has set the total revenue target – tax and non-tax revenue - at Tk 3,39,280 crore. Of the total amount, the NBR has been tasked to source Tk 2,96,201 crore.
Moulvibazar, Sept 9 (UNB) – The wildlife of Lawachhara National Park, a major park in Kamalganj upazila, is declining fast due to acute food crisis and habitat problem.
The wild animals are coming out of the park and entering localities in search of food. Once out, they are either getting killed by local people or being crushed under the wheels of motorised vehicles in most cases as there are railways and roads inside the forest area.
When a big-size python entered a locality in the last week of August, local people attempted to kill it. However, ‘Wildlife Service Foundation (WSF), a private organisation which works on wildlife, rescued the snake.
Although the python was taken back unhurt, the wild animals, in most cases, lose their lives, causing fall in their populations.
The Lawachhara Park, covering approximately 1,250 hectares of land, was declared a national park by the government on July 7,1996 under the Wildlife Act, 1974. Its biodiversity consists of 460 species, of which 167 species are plants, four amphibian species, six reptile species, 246 bird species, 20 mammal species, and 17 insect species.
Sources at the Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department of the Forest Department said around 50 wild animals were recovered from the forest and its adjoining areas in the last eight months. Among them, seven were found dead. In 2017, a total 16 wild animals were found dead among 187 recovered animals.
The highest number of animals -- 47 -- was killed in the forest in 2016 among 230 recovered ones.
However, WSF claimed that at least 20 wild animals were found dead in the last six months in the forest and its adjoining areas. Among them were barking deer, pythons, snakes and monkeys.
Besides, it rescued 40 injured wild animals from the locality. Among the rescued ones, some were released in the forest and 12 are still undergoing treatment.
Wildlife researcher Tania Khan said deforestation is the main reason behind the food and habitat crises of the wild animals. People are destroying forests for making their own houses and cutting down trees for firewood for which wild animals are losing their abode.
Awareness needs to be created among people with a message that they should save the wildlife for their own survival. “People kill the animals for lack of awareness,” she said.
After announcing it a reserve forest in 1996, around 30 percent of trees were chopped down. Besides, huge trees were uprooted during storms. The number of trees is declining for lack of effective steps to stop smuggling and lack of initiative for necessary afforestation, said officials at different NGOs working on Lawachhara.
Admitting the problems, Sylhet divisional forest officer Abu Musa Samsul Muhit Chowdhury said wild animals are being killed when they enter the locality in search of food.
To solve the crisis, he said, big trees will be conserved along with planting fruit-bearing trees.
Musa said a rescue centre for wild animals was established in the park which was later shut for manpower crisis. “It’ll be reopened soon.”
For the safety of the animals, it is necessary to think about alternative to rail tracks and roads that passed through forest.
Joly Paul, convener of Lawchara Forest and Wildlife Life Protection Movement, said the rail tracks and roads through the forest are nothing but ‘death traps’ for the wild animals.
“We’ve long been demanding to relocate the train lines and roads. Without their relocation, it’s not possible to save the animals,” she said adding that if the rescue centre could be reopened, the number of deaths of wild animals will come down.