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Electricity Reforms in West Bengal. Dr. Keya Ghosh CUTS-Calcutta Resource Centre. Outline. An Overview of Electricity Sector in West Bengal Reforms and its Impact in the Power sector Consumer Protection and Public Participation Way Forward .

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electricity reforms in west bengal

Electricity Reforms in West Bengal

Dr. Keya Ghosh

CUTS-Calcutta Resource Centre

  • An Overview of Electricity Sector in West Bengal
  • Reforms and its Impact in the Power sector
  • Consumer Protection and Public Participation
  • Way Forward
an overview of electricity sector in west bengal
An Overview of Electricity Sector in West Bengal

Generation Units

State Agencies

i WBPDCL West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd

ii DPL Durgapur Project Ltd

Private Agencies

iii CESE Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation

iv DPSC DPSC-Dishergarh Power Supply Corporation

Central Agencies

v NTPC National thermal Power Corporation

vi DVC Damodor Valley Corporation

Total Installed Capacity as on 31-01-2008: 7616 MW Total Installed Capacity in 31-03-1996: 5481 MWInstalled Power Sector-wise (MW)
By November 2008 , the installed capacity will go up to such an extent that there will be no power deficit in the state due to installation of many more new generating units (dependable source).
  • Between 2001-02 and 2006-07 (up to November 2006), the number of consumers of electricity has increased by more than 25.5 lakhs.

Systems Improvement:WBSEB has been improving various transmission and distribution works for improvement of power distribution network essentially in rural areas .

  • Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has assisted in West Bengal Transmission System Project.
  • The Security and Loss Prevention (S & LP wings have been strengthened by creating S & L P offices at 17 circles in addition to the Central S & LP wing at Head Quarter.
  • WBREDA implemented a massive programme in the field of Renewable Energy Sources like Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Biomass, Mini Micro Hydal, Tidal Power etc and it is well known in the country for its good work.
  • More than 1000 families of the State are getting electricity through non conventional energy source.

West Bengal Rural Energy Development Corporation Ltd (WBREDCL)

  • A unique feature of WBREDCL's functioning is that it is largely decentralised to the district and sub-district levels, in its planning, execution and monitoring operations.
  • At the district level, the apex body is the District Rural Energy Committee, whose members include the Sabhadipati (chairman of the zilla panchayat) and the District Magistrate;
  • At the block level, there is the Block Rural Energy Committee, headed by the Block Sabhadipati and the Block Development Officer (BDO). d
  • At the most basic level of this structure is the Beneficiary Committee, comprising a gram panchayat member, a local teacher and a local youth representative.
  • After the electrification and intensification work is done, the Beneficiary Committee takes up the role of monitoring and protecting the transformer, and hence it is known as the Transformer Protection Committee4
for consumer protection
For Consumer Protection

Established Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum Restructure in 2006

  • The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission Regulations, 2006 has made provision for redressal of grievances of consumers against the licensees regarding supply of electricity and related matters (such as excess billing, long security deposit, incorrect disconnection , non receipt of meter).
ombudsman redressal of grievances of consumers

Ombudsman & Redressal of Grievances of Consumers

The distribution licensees is mandated to establish an organisational structure for redressal of grievances of consumers.

Each licensee must have as many Grievance Redressal Officers (GRO) as may be necessary at the rate of at least one such GRO at each sub-district; district; regional ; zonal; head quarter levels of each organisation.

An aggrieved consumer is entitled to approach the Ombudsman ( placed at the WBERC Office) if he is aggrieved by any order of any GRO at any of these levels or if he does not get any response from GRO within a specified time.

So far office of Ombudsman has dealt with the following consumer grievances up to 2005-06 since its inception in June 2004.

The Commission has reviewed the earlier lengthy procedure

for taking grievance of the consumers to Ombudsman and replaced it with a simple procedure.

public hearing and tariff orders
Public Hearing and Tariff Orders
  • In West Bengal , ‘public hearing’ used to be an integral part of the mechanism of passing a tariff order, but under the Electricity Act 2003, there is no specific provision of public hearing. So public hearing is not taking place in West Bengal unlike other states. This has been initiated by WBERC due to the lacuna of the 2003 Electricity Act.

The procedure that is now being followed is:

  • A Licensee should submit its tariff petition to the Commission at least 120 days prior to the date from which the tariff is proposed to be made effective.
  • The Tariff Petition, in question, is admitted by the Commission
  • After admission of the tariff petition in question, the petitioner is directed to publish a gist of the tariff petition, as approved by the Commission, in newspapers.
The insertions in the newspapers are meant to call upon all interested parties and members of the public to file objections or make comments on the petition.
  • Objections / comments to / on the tariff petition, in question, are received by the Commission up to a stipulated period of 30 days from the date of publication of the gist of the tariff petition.
  • The Commission examines these comments and comes out with a Tariff Chapter for each petitioner. The main points/decisions (Gist Tariff) of the Tariff Chapter are published in the newspapers. Anybody interested can seek to go through the detailed Tariff chapter which are kept in the WBERC office or from the website of the commission.
way forward
Way Forward
  • Governments are moving ahead fast with reforms.
  • This reform offer the private sector a large role. And it is feared that if the power sector is left to the experts, planners and decision-makers located in capital cities, the interest of common man might be left out.
  • Public control and public participation in this sector therefore is of great importance .
  • But this can happen only when the capacities of the public are built and enhanced so that they can ensure complete transparency (T) direct accountability (A) and meaningful participation. (P). TAP is the key to improver the health of this sector.
  • Here lies the relevance and importance of this project which aims to build capacities of citizen groups.
  • Economic Review 2006-07 GoWB
  • ICRA Report 2003
  • WBERC Financial Report 2005-06
  • www.wberc.net
  • http://powermin.nic.in
  • www.cea.nic.in
  • www.wbsedcl.in
  • www.wbsetcl.in