Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's call for austerity to be exercised in the use of electricity is not to be taken lightly. In a country beset by resource constraints, it is important that care be taken where the use of electricity and other vital resources such as gas and water is concerned. It has been noticed for years that people in Bangladesh are prone to wasting resources in ways that are inconceivable in other countries. In homes, the misuse of gas has been a constant factor, prompting action by the authorities in putting a premium on the use of gas for cooking. Even today, there are households which have the tendency of leaving gas lines open despite the fact that such activities as cooking are over.
As for electricity, the Prime Minister as well as the rest of us remains aware of the many wrong uses it is put to. Illegal electricity connections are to be spotted not only in the slums situated in urban areas but also in the rural areas. There are companies which often draw electricity from pylons located nearby and use them indiscriminately without the authorities knowing about it. Again, there are the many unscrupulous elements who in return for monetary gratification make illegal power connections available to equally unscrupulous people.
And then, of course, there is the question of water. There are a large number of areas across the country and especially in the nation's capital where water is scarce. There is a need to devise the means by which a normal supply of water can be ensured for citizens. It must also be noted that in the rural areas water should be properly used for irrigation and also made available to homes.
Tube wells are yet a means of drawing water from the ground in our villages. More experiments and research should be undertaken on how best to extract water from the soil, without depleting the resource. Our resources are limited. Our population is rising. Our geography is constrained. These are truths we must not push aside as we aim for a better life for ourselves.
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