Welcoming the statement of Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry that West Bengal is their favourite destination for investment, State Power minister Sobhandeb Chatterjee on Thursday said that that they had no problem with any industrialists but they only oppose the policy of bulldogging the sentiments of common people.
While talking to the media persons at the sideline of “The Environment and Energy Conclave” organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chatterjee said that his government had no quarrels with any particular industrialist, it only opposed some policies.
“We were never against any industrialist; we had only opposed some policies. The state government’s position is very clear that it would never allow anybody to hurt the sentiment of the common people,” Chatterjee said.
Hinting at the forceful acquisition of the land at Singur in Hooghly by the erstwhile Left Front government for setting up Tata Nano factory, Chatterjee said that nothing can be done by applying force. The Mamata Banerjee government is here to protect the sentiment of common people and serve their interest.
Chatterjee on Thursday once again reminded that the state government will not hike the price of electricity up to the consumption of 300 units for the domestic purposes, despite of the recommendation from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). The people involved in agriculture and those who belong to the BPL category will also be able to get the same facility.
The state government has also spared the agriculture sector, BPL consumers and middle-class users
off the power tariff hike. “We have spared the agriculture sector, BPL and common people from the power tariff hike by the state utility,” Chatterjee said on Thursday.
Average power tariff of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) is turning dearer by 23 paise with effect from July billing cycle.
Earlier in the day, while speaking at the programme, Chatterjee said that pollution is the biggest challenge for the country and that is why the state government is keen on developing renewable energy and a great deal has been done in this field.
“We were trying to develop clean energy. We have been working hard on developing infrastructure on renewable energy, but the cost factor is a serious challenge before us. Protecting the environment is our major concern. Many projects including the pump storage projects and thermal projects are coming up in the state. West Bengal is a surplus state in terms of thermal power generation,” the minister said.
He also reminded that all the remaining villages will get electricity either by the end of this year or by the middle of the next year. Following the instruction of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the power department has taken up initiatives to install solar plants on the roof top of various office buildings.
It may be mentioned that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Energy and Resources Institute for working towards the fight against of climatic change.