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Mamata asks state to cut down AT&C losses to 11%

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the state Power department to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses to 11 percent from the current figure of 22 percent.

Following the instruction of the Chief Minister, the department has been striving hard to reduce the AT&C losses by 50 percent through various ways and means. The department has already done a significant improvement in this field in the past couple of years.

It has been learnt that the loss figure stood at around 35 percent in the state, when Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay took over as the Power minister.

There have been incidents of power theft in various parts of the state and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) has been incurring a huge loss due to the same. It has been conducting awareness campaigns in different places to overcome the menace.

The Bengal government has already taken up a new project of laying underground cables in the districts to get rid of the issue, thereby bringing down the loss caused to the state's exchequer.

The Mamata Banerjee government had made its stand clear that it would not take any coercive steps against those who indulge in any illegal activities. Following her instruction, Chattopadhyay has laid an emphasis on creating awareness among the people in those districts where maximum cases of power theft have been reported.

According to sources, most of the incidents of power theft are being reported from South 24-Parganas, where the Power department has met a loss of Rs 886 crore, followed by Murshidabad and Birbhum. The amount of losses in Murshidabad stands at around Rs 691 crore, while in case of Birbhum the figure stands at Rs 675 crore.

It may be mentioned here that the Power department has set a target to lay underground cables in 74 cities within 2025. The project would be conducted in various phases.

Chattopadhyay said on Tuesday that the laying of underground cables has already been started at various places in Nadia, Birbhum and Cooch Behar in the first phase. It is a big project and would therefore take some time for completion. It is expected that the project would be completed by 2025, the minister added.

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