About 15 lakh poor families in West Bengal will get free electricity connecctions in this financial year, an official said Tuesday.
“A total of 15 lakh BPL (below poverty line) families in West Bengal will get free electricity connections in this fiscal. We have been able to provide two lakh connections in April. Another four lakh connections are in the pipeline. And by March 2012, we will give another 9 lakh connections,” West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) CMD Rajesh Pandey said at an interactive session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce (MCC) here.
“This is done under rural electrification programme. The central government has sanctioned Rs.2000 crore for the project. With this fund we are able to cover about 50-60 percent of BPL families. The remaining will be funded by the state government,” he said.
Even after giving connections to 15 lakh BPL families, there will still be another 20 lakh families without power connections.
Asked when those 20 lakh BPL families will be covered, he said: “The state government is also planning another scheme.”
Pandey said at the current rate of growth in electricity demand in the state, the WBSEDCL will be able to meet the requirement till 2016.
“And thereafter, we have put in place a number of power-purchase agreement for various projects which are in the pipeline,” he added.