Employees of country's 1st solar plant without salaries for 4 months
Over 18 staffers of Engreen Solar Plant, which is connected to the country's first national grid, set up by a private company on the PDB premises in Sarishabari upazila of Jamalpur, have not been getting their monthly salaries for the last four months.
The 20-year sustainable plant, with a capacity of 3 MW, went for production in 2017 with 25 staffers. At present, only 18 staffers are working at the plant. Seven people have already left the job for not getting salary in time, reports a correspondent quoting the staff of the plant.
According to sources at the Engreen Solar Plant office, electricity is being sold to PDB at Tk 15 per unit. The company has to pay a salary of about Tk 5 lakh to its staff. The workers' salaries are due as the company is struggling to pay this money.
There is a fear of the power plant being closed due to the manpower crisis, if the workers leave their jobs for not getting salary.
Ashikur Rahman, a washingman working at the plant, said their salaries have been stopped for four months.
"I am struggling to run my family," he said, adding that in this circumstance, he has decided to quit the job.
This eco-friendly solar plant is generating electricity from sunlight by converting light rays into electrical energy through the mono-crystal cells of solar panels, said Motaharul Islam, deputy project manager of the plant.
At a time when solar plants are playing a role in protecting the country's environment and meeting the power shortage, it is inhuman to not pay the salaries of the employees, officials of the plant said.
Engineer Anwarul Kabir Sarker, project manager of the plant, said, "In the agreement, PDB was supposed to pay us the bill within two months, but now they have not given us any bill for the last six months. So the salaries of the staff are pending".
However, he could not say anything about when the arrears would be paid.
Fazlul Haque, additional engineer of the Power Division, could not be reached for his comment over phone despite repeated attempts.
When Zulfiqar Ali, director of the power division (IPP Cell-2), called several times on his mobile phone, he cut off the line saying that he was busy.