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Power dept finalises DPL restructure plan

Power dept finalises DPL restructure plan

Kolkata: The state Power department has finalised the restructure plan for Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL), a loss-making power utility, and has already forwarded the merger plan to the Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) for its approval.

"We have finalised the restructure plan for DPL. The detailed plan has been sent to the ERC for its nod," state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said.

The minister informed that DPL will be divided into three parts. The transmission will be taken up by the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (WBSETCL) and the distribution will be looked after by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) while the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) will take care of the generation part.

The Power department will offer Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to the employees. Those who will not opt for VRS will be posted at other similar units under the state government. "We will ensure that nobody who is willing to continue work lose his job. We will try to place all of them in Durgapur area itself as the employees have been working in the district for many years and it will be difficult for them to relocate to other places," a senior official of the department said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had made it clear in Durgapur in last year November that DPL cannot be saved without reconstruction. She added that the land belonging to the power utility would be sold and merged with other agencies. Banerjee handed over responsibility to state Labour and Law minister Moloy Ghatak, chairman of Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) Tapas Banerjee, local MLA Biswanath Parial and Durgapur Mayor Dilip Agasthy to speed up the process of restructuring of DPL in association with the state Power department. The state Cabinet had sanctioned the merger of DPL in November 2017 after it was found that the power utility was having a negative net worth with its liabilities exceeding its assets plus shareholders equity amounting to almost Rs 1,000 crore. The losses have been to the tune of around Rs 200 crore every fiscal for a decade.

It may be mentioned that with a total capacity of 660 MW, the state-owned DPL has been one of the most important industrial units in the Durgapur-Asansol belt. DPL has nearly 3,000 odd employees in its payrolls.

SOUMITRA NANDI

SOUMITRA NANDI

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