Manjuri Akter’s husband lives abroad. She lives in the capital’s Moghbazar with her two children and mother. She came to Gulistan on Tuesday to buy a rechargeable fan.
She told The Business Post power cuts occur suddenly nowadays and supply restores after at least an hour. She also said load-shedding earlier used to occur during the day but now it happens in the evening and after midnight.
“As power goes out five to six times in every 24 hours, family members, especially children, are suffering a lot. This has raised the need to have rechargeable fans,” said Manjuri.
She said rechargeable fan prices recently went up several times. She had to buy a Chinese rechargeable fan for Tk 4,500.
Like her, many city dwellers are buying rechargeable fans and lights to cope with several hours of load-shedding every day. The scheduled power cuts have been introduced to tackle the existing energy shortages.
In recent times, electricity demand has surpassed production in the country, with the shortage of gas, coal, and fuel oil being the main reason. Payra, the country’s largest power plant, has recently been shut down due to the inability to import coal. As a result, Bangladesh is witnessing frequent power outages.
A visit to New Market, Nawabpur, and Gulistan areas revealed the demand for charger fans increased markedly over the past week while prices are also high. Prices are high because the supply of fans is less than the demand, traders said, adding they are selling lots of fans every day.
They also said Chinese mini fans are in great demand, with school students being the main customers. Mini fans usually cost between Tk 200 and Tk 300, but the prices have almost doubled now.
The demand for fans of different imported brands has also increased. The prices of such fans vary between Tk 4,000 and Tk 10,000.
Sellers said sales are also good and the demand is high for 12-, 14-, and 16-inch charger fans. Compared to a week ago, charger fan prices have increased by Tk 1,000-1,500 depending on the quality and size. The demand for pedestal fans is good as well.
A charger fan is a type of fan that can be charged when there is electricity. When there is no electricity, this fan can be used. As a result, when power is out, such fans give people some relief.
Hridoy Hossain, an employee of DN Store located in New Market, said the demand for fans increased in the last few days due to rising heat and frequent load-shedding. “We used to sell three to four fans daily, which has now increased to 15-20.”
Abdus Salam, manager of VIP Crockeries in the same area, said most rechargeable fans available in the market are manufactured by Chinese companies and they come with rechargeable lights.
“We sell rechargeable fans of various brands, such as Miyako, Nova, Defender, Sunca, and Kennede. Our sales increased four- to five-fold in the last two months. The prices start from Tk 3,000 and go over Tk 10,000.”
Mohammad Mamun, manager of Active Electronics in Nawabpur, sells rechargeable fans as a wholesaler. He has products with prices ranging from Tk 3,000 to Tk 13,000.
He said fan imports have fallen due to the dollar crisis, inflation, and other reasons, which is why prices have increased in the market.
Traders said the prices of rechargeable fans recently went up by Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,500. Apart from shops, the sales of rechargeable lights and fans have also increased in roadside stalls in Nawabpur, Baitul Mukarram, Malibagh, and Mouchak areas.
Several footpath vendors in Baitul Mukarram, Malibagh, and Mouchak areas said rechargeable lights and small fans are selling more. The prices of rechargeable lights start from Tk 100 and go over Tk 1,000 depending on size.