The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal seeks financial aid to step up power output

Calcutta, June 18: The West Bengal government has approached the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for financial assistance to add 1,500 MW in power capacity.

Addressing the members of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, state power minister Mrinal Banerjee said: “We will be setting up two 250 MW units — one at Santaldih and the other at Durgapur. Similarly, we are setting up two 500 MW units at Sagardighi. We need money for which we have approached the financial institutions.”

According to rough estimates, the government will need Rs 6,000 crore to add this new capacity. The capacity addition will be done in the next three to four years.

Banerjee was critical about the power theft that is taking a toll on the revenues of the power utilities. “Though we had introduced the Anti- Theft Act in July last year, we have been able to curb pilferage only in a small area. A lot needs to be done,” he said.

“Industries and commercial houses indulge in power pilferage. They should come forward to help the government in its drive to reduce transmission and distribution losses,” Banerjee added.

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