The Sorry Tale of Power Deficits

For a re­gion that is de­vel­op­ing swiftly, en­ergy prob­lems can only worsen in the com­ing years.

Southasia - - COVER STORY - By S. M. Hali

Na­ture has blessed South Asia with an abun­dant sup­ply of wa­ter, coal, wind and sun­light. Yet, the re­gion faces an acute en­ergy cri­sis. In some cases, the short­age has reached dan­ger­ous pro­por­tions. Some rea­sons for this chronic malaise are poor plan­ning, cor­rup­tion, in­suf­fi­cient de­ci­sion-mak­ing and bad gover­nance. For a rapidly de­vel­op­ing re­gion, an acute en­ergy cri­sis can im­pede growth. Be­fore rec­om­mend­ing the mea­sures to re­solve the prob­lem, let us briefly ex­am­ine the is­sue in the per­spec­tive of the South Asian coun­tries.

Bangladesh, which is es­ti­mated to have between 12 tril­lion and 15 tril­lion cu­bic feet of nat­u­ral gas, pro­vides elec­tric­ity to only 30 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion. For a coun­try which is en­deav­or­ing to es­tab­lish its name in

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