bdnews24 reports. The hawkers are apparently using the juice so they can run small light bulbs in order to sell their wares at night.
Authorities told bdnews24 that the number of street hawkers rises during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. The amount of power pilfered by the city's estimated 100,000 hawkers could amount to 10MW per day--in a city that is stressed for adequate power.
One hawker confirmed that he paid an unauthorized 'lineman' 1,000 taka ($14 US) for the hookup and 50 per day (or about 75 cents) for the power. Another said he paid twice as much.
According to the Dhaka Electric Supply Company, legal electricity for commercial use can be had for a flat rate of 5.58 taka (about 8 cents) per unit of use. So the hawkers are likely being ripped off, perhaps by as much as 800 percent.
The obvious solution: instead of hunting down the law-breaking hawkers, crack down on the fake utility workers and provide the hawkers with safe, legal hookups where they will pay the official rate.