Kolkata, 2 March: A slight cut in the electricity tariff will come as a relief to the subscribers of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL).
Next month onwards, the tariff will be lowered in areas covered by the WBPDCL, said Mr Manish Gupta, state minister, power and non-conventional energy sources, on the sidelines of a national seminar on ‘Emerging Power Scenario in India’.
A month ago, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that the state-owned power utility, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Corporation, will cut tariff by 5 to 10 paise per unit in the 2014-15 fiscal.
The growth in the thermal power sectors has not been as expected due to the problem regarding the availability of coal.
Mr Gupta stressed that the high price of coal is pushing the price of tariff upwards. “Despite all this constraint, the state government has been able to provide electricity to 80 per cent residents of villages in West Bengal,” he added.
Mr Gupta said that 80 per cent coal mines are situated in West Bengal, but the state has to buy coal at high price from Coal India.
“The Centre is blocking foreign countries like Japan from investing, claiming that Bengal doesn’t have the financial capacity for the required projects,” said Mr Gupta.
India has made a lot of progress in terms of electricity consumption in the world. In the power search we have reached the 5th position from being the 10th. “Yet 40 to 50 per cent villages in India do not have access to electricity,” he said. We are exporting 250 megawatt per day electricity to Bangladesh.
Mr Gupta criticised the Centre for failing to set up a coal regulatory authority with mandatory power.
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