State govt asks MLAS to convince people to allow HT lines overhead

15 Feb 2017

West Bengal government is writing to MLAs asking them to talk to unwilling residents and convince them to pave way for passage of overhead high-tension power lines.

The move comes on the heels of the protest and violence in Bhangor area of South 24 Parganas district over construction of a Power Grid sub-station. According to state power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, there are hindrances in taking high-tension power lines in some areas of the state and the government is taking proper measures to address the issue.
"There are districts where we are facing problems in taking high-tension electrical lines. We are talking to the residents there and trying to sort it out amicably. There have been district-wise meetings. It is a continuous process and now we are writing to around 30 MLAs asking them to talk to locals and sort out the problems," Chattopadhyay said.

"We will listen to individuals and learn about their exact problems. There will be no harsh decision taken in this regard," the minister said. Places where passage of high-tension power lines are getting stuck are mostly in bigger districts of the state like South 24 Parganas, a power department official said. Asked how much loss the state was facing because of power thefts, the minister told reporters that the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (ATC) loss is around 15 per cent and steps are being taken to address the issue. Earlier, responding to a query from the Treasury Bench during the day's Question Hour in the Assembly, Chattopadhyay highlighted the problems related to the Right of Ways for passage of overhead high-tension power lines.