KOLKATA, 20 March: State-owned power utilities in West Bengal are slated to register a net revenue collection of Rs 8,289.19 crore during 2008-09 with an estimated net profit of Rs 289.47 crore. Accordingly, enthused by the decent revenue collection projections, the West Bengal government on Friday increased plan allocation for the power sector from Rs 2,061.73 crore during 2008-09 to Rs 2,376.4 crore for 2009-10.
This, however, is inclusive of internal resources of the power utilities. The state-owned power utilities include West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co, West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Co, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd and Durgapur Projects Ltd.
In his budget speech for 2009-10, West Bengal's finance minister Asim Dasgupta said: "Special emphasis has been given to improve the internal efficiency of power utilities in the state. As a result, the plant load factor of these power utilities has increased from 53.2% in 2001-02 to an estimated 63% in the current year.
In addition, the transmission and distribution loss has also been reduced from 31.1% from 2001-02 to 22% in the current year." Mr Dasgupta also claimed that rural electrification has reached 99.2%. "Out of 37,910 villages in the state, electricity has reached as many as 37,606 villages till February 28, 2009. The state government has now set a deadline for completing the task of providing power to each household of every villages within 11th Plan Period."