Bengal to export 1,000 MW power to Nepal, Bhutan

The Bengal Government will soon export 1,000 Mega Watt (MW) electricity to various neighbouring countries including Nepal and Bhutan. Meanwhile, the capacity of the export of electricity to Bangladesh will also be increased.

The power plants in Bengal have been generating nearly around 7,000 MW of electricity every day on an average and private power plants around 11,000 MW.  During peak hours, the state needs nearly 9,000 MW a day. Bengal ranks second after Maharashtra in terms of production of electricity without the assistance of the Centre.

Bengal is among the few Indian states to have surplus power which is a major achievement as it has been viewed by many. Production of power in the State has gone up in the last few years.


নেপাল, ভুটানে ১০০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ সরবরাহ করবে বাংলা

শীঘ্রই নেপাল ও ভুটান সহ বিভিন্ন প্রতিবেশী দেশগুলোকে ১০০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ সরবরাহ করবে রাজ্য সরকার। এর পাশাপাশি বাংলাদেশে বিদ্যুৎ সরবরাহের পরিমাণও বৃদ্ধি করা হবে।

বাংলার সরকারী পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট গুলি প্রতিদিনে প্রায় ৭০০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন করে এবং বেসরকারী পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট গুলি প্রতিদিনে প্রায় ১১০০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন করে। একটি কর্মব্যস্ত দিনে প্রায় ৯০০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ প্রয়োজন রাজ্যের।  কেন্দ্রের সহযোগিতা ছাড়া বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদনের ক্ষেত্রে বাংলার স্থান (দ্বিতীয়) মহারাষ্ট্রের পরেই।

ভারতবর্ষের কয়েকটি মাত্র রাজ্যের মধ্যে বাংলা একটি যেখানে পাওয়ার সারপ্লাস আছে যা নিঃসন্দেহে একটি বড় অ্যাচিভমেন্ট। গত কয়েক বছরে রাজ্যের বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদনও বেড়েছে।


infrastructure bengal

No major hike in power tariff in last four years: Power Minister

Denying the opposition Left Front’s charges of exorbitant hike in power tariff, West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta on Wednesday said there has been no major hike under current regime.

Replying to a question in the assembly, Gupta presented figures of hike in power tariff during the last four years of erstwhile Left regime and four-and-half years of TMC and said that the hike during the LF rule was much higher.

“There has been nominal hike during the TMC rule. The hike during the four years of Left rule was much higher,” Gupta said.

Replying to allegations of the Opposition, Gupta said, “In Delhi there are multiple parties which provide electricity. In Mumbai there are two private parties. But if you compare the tariff of these companies with CESC, you will see the rate of CESC is much lower.

Rs 4000 crore allotted for revamping Bengal power infrastructure

The West Bengal Government has taken up a plan to revamp the state’s power infrastructure at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore over the next two years, State Power Minister Manish Gupta said on Wednesday.

West Bengal Power Development Corporation will appoint a mine developer and operator to start mining in five coal blocks, the Power Minister said while placing the power budget in the assembly.

State to start mining coal

The Centre allotted to WBPDCLsix coal blocks, including Tara (East & West), Barjora (North), Barjora, Gangaramchak, Gangaramchak-Bhadulia, Pachwara (North) and Kasta (East). Apart from this, the Deocha Pachami Deawanganj-Harisingha coal block has been allotted jointly to six states, including Bengal.

The minister said WBPDCL would receive 584 million tonnes of coals from the Deocha Pachami Deawanganj-Harisingha block. He also said that coal supply was not a cause of concern for the state government. “WBPDCL has a record coal stock of 9.29 lakh metric tonnes as on March 31, 2015”, said the minister.

Alternative sources of power

The department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources is drawing up a draft document on Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Policy, which would be extended throughout the state in a phased manner, the Minister told the Assembly. The rooftop solar photovoltaic policy for the state was likely to be announced very shortly after former approval of the state cabinet, the Minister said.

The West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency already took up a project for installation of 10 kWp rooftop grid connected PV power plant with net metering arrangement at 100 government and government-aided schools statewide with 100 per cent funding from the state budget, he said.

The project would be extended to 500 schools altogether in phases, the minister said replying to a supplementary. The Minister further said that the WBREDA was also implementing an off-grid school electrification programme for another 100 schools in the Sundarbans.

Boost to power sector

The state government has also planned to set up a photovoltaic power plant to the proposed 1000MW Turga Pumped Storage in Ayodhya Hills in Purulia. “The project has got an in-principle approval from Centre,” the Minister said.

Steps have also been taken to upgrade various low voltage areas into high voltage ones, the Minister said. He said that in the last four years the power sector had witnessed improvement, thanks to several development schemes undertaken by his department.

The distribution infrastructure of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited had much improved in the last four years with the installation of 82 new 33/11KV sub-stations, besides HT line and Distribution Transformers (DTRs) etc, he said.

Starting from non-conventional energy resources, the state has already taken many projects to boost rural electrification and hydro-electric power generation programmes, the Minister said.

Night camps connect officials with villagers in Bengal

Along with regular daytime monitoring meetings and field visits the administrative officials of Bardhaman District in West Bengal have started night camps to connect with the villagers.

Taking cue from the State’s Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, who believes in meeting people across state at grass-root level, this innovative idea has been adopted by the district administrative officers too. From time to time, the district magistrate, along with other top administrative officials, spends a night at a randomly-picked village to study firsthand the impact of various government welfare measures on villagers.

The team, comprising officials like ADMs, SDOs and BDOs, discusses with the villagers, their grievances and needs.

The meeting usually starts at around 7:00 PM and continues till around 11:00 PM, depending upon the nature of the interaction. Meetings are held in the evening because by that time most villagers are back from work and are in a relaxed mood.  The officers and people’s representatives sit on the floor face to face with the villagers.

The problems dealt with are mostly relating to caste certificates, issue of ration cards, inclusion of names in the BPL list, social assistance programmes like old age, widow and disability pensions. Construction of roads, libraries and other facilities, scholarships, electric connection, ICDS or Mid day meal programmes, health services, land-related problems, agriculture issues, cattle and domestic animals related problems also feature among the topics.

Most of the problems are resolved on the spot to be followed by a special camp for the people of the gram panchayat for extension and facilitation of sundry services and government benefits.

The officials carry their own tiffins and dinner packets, so after the meeting is over, they stay back and sleep in community halls or schools made ready for their night halt.

Already more than 500 villages have been covered by the Bardhaman district administration.