• Bengal’s ‘light-for-all’ project enters the last mile

    Even as Bengal gives finishing touches to its 100% electrification drive, power department officials have given up on 72 villages. Spread over Burdwan, Nadia and Murshidabad, residents of these villages will continue to live in the dark even as the ‘Sabar Ghare Alo’ (Light in every home) project makes a concerted effort to light up 6 lakh households that are outside the electricity loop.

    Sources in the power department said the state would miss the 100% electrification target by a whisker as the 72-odd villages located on sand bars in Burdwan, Nadia and Murshidabad were economically unviable to be connected to the grid. “In some cases, it may entail an expense of over Rs 1 crore to provide connection to a few dozen households,” an official of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (WBSEDCL) said.

    Sources said a separate programme could be taken up later to provide solar electricity to these mid-river villages. In the rest of the state, the programme will most certainly overshoot the deadline with challenges in connecting remote islands in the Sunderbans in North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas and enclaves in Cooch Behar. The 51 enclaves that were exchanged with neighbouring Bangladesh last year pose a challenge. Ryan Anderson Womens Jersey

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