Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been announcing new development policies to boost the dwindling economy in West Bengal, but the measures seem to be falling short of bringing things in order in the state.

The state economy, which is reeling under a massive debt of Rs 2 lakh crores, has also taken a toll on the power sector. The lack of power supply has forced the electricity department to resort to load-shedding due to which people are facing power cuts of 7 to 8 hours.

The thermal power plants in the state owe Rs 600 crores to the coal suppliers. With the debt not being cleared, plants have started running short of fuel.

With people getting restless under the severe power crunch, the government finally paid Rs 60 crores to the ECL after which it resumed the coal supply to the power plants. However, Rs 90 crores still remains to be paid to the ECL.

Power Minister Manish Gupta said, “The escalating prices made the payment of debts difficult.” He added that he will go to Delhi to speak to the Union Coal Minister in this regard as the higher prices of coal have worsened the situation and Centre would have to chalk out a solution.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Suryakant Mishra and former Industry Minister Nirupam Sen blamed the government’s policies for load-shedding.

“When electricity poles were being installed in the state under the Left’s rule, the Trinamool Congress created hindrances due to which many of the projects could not be completed,” they charged.

“The state has the capacity to provide power in the state but the government is declaring new projects instead of fixing the ongoing ones. On one hand the government is weeping over crisis while on the other hand, it is making new declarations which cannot be realized,” the opposition leaders said.

(JPN/Bureau)