A heat wave amid frequent load shedding sweeping across Bangladesh made public life miserable in capital Dhaka and elsewhere of the country.
The high temperature that soars up to 40 Celsius degree over the last few days is aggravating the plight of the commoners who are suffering from frequent load shedding.
Hassan Shahriar, president of the Commonwealth Journalist Association and also a senior journalist of Bangladesh, told Xinhua Tuesday that his life has been greatly disturbed by the heat wave and load shedding recently.
"The heat is unbearable. I don't have air condition in my house, I use fan. But six-seven hours of load shedding every day makes me difficult to do anything at home," he said.
An official of the Dhaka Electric Supply Authority told Xinhua Tuesday the short fall of power generation in Bangladesh is 1,500 MW every day against a demand of around 5,000 MW. The official who asked not to be quoted said the situation may worsen in the coming days of this summer with increasing demand for electricity.
Schools, offices, hospitals and businesses are badly affected by the frequent load shedding. Big business houses are using generators but small shops, markets and factories are struggling to cope with the situation.
Poor and middle income people who have to stand in queue for several hours to buy food stuffs at fair price from outside fair price market are among the worst sufferers of heat exhaustion.
Many schools in the capital stopped students from assembling in the school compounds and changes their class routines to avoid the summer heat.
The bitumen on several roads in Dhaka melts down in mid day by the heat and making the driving dangerous.
"The weather is unbearable, It's like a hell," said Golapi Begum, a slum dweller of Dhaka.
Three-wheeler rickshaw driver Ismail said, "We can't sleep at night because of the heat, moreover, we have to bear bites of mosquitoes."
The situation in the country's northern region looks worsened with electricity supply for only 3-4 hours a day in the scorching heat-wave.
The hot spell also leads to outbreak of diarrhea, fever and other heat related ailments and respiratory problems. Doctors advise people to drink more water and fluid substance to face the situation.
Dhaka Meteorological office terms the current heat wave mild to moderate. "This is not an abnormal rise of temperature. Such temperature persist in April and May of every year," Meteorological expert Farah Diba told Xinhua on Tuesday.
She cautioned such hot spell may continue for a couple of days more.
Diba would not agree with some notion that it is because of adverse impact of climate change. However, she did not rule out further rise in temperature in May if clouds and monsoon rains make delay to come.
Two years ago people were seen to put up road barricades and ransacked power houses in different cities and towns including capital Dhaka due to incredible load shedding and short supply of gas and water.
But, this year despite acute sufferings, public anger on the street is absent as the country is placed under the state of emergency which has been enforced since Jan. 11, 2007 that bans all kinds of protests and demonstrations.
(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2008)