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Arrears of Rs 100 Crore: TSECL Restricted Power Supply to Bangladesh

Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) has restricted power supply to Bangladesh due to arrears of Rs 100 crore. 

The company has taken this measure for a year due to not getting the bill from Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on time. 

TSECL Managing Director (MD) Debashish Sarkar gave this information in a statement given to  news agency ANI.

He said ANI that about 100 crore rupees is owed to BPDB for electricity supply. TSECL is continuously trying its best to get this money. But they know that BPDB is going through financial problems. Due to BPDB not paying bills on time for a year, the arrears have increased.

TSECL has written to Bangladesh Electricity Department regarding their arrears. Met with Mahbubur Rahman Chairman of BPDB. TSECL has contacted Bangladesh Ministry of Electricity centrally for quick settlement of the outstanding amount. The current financial management of TSECL has been affected due to increased arrears.

TSECL, the state-owned electricity supplier, has already negotiated with the state-owned NVVN to ensure timely payment from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh officially imports 1,160 MW of electricity from India. Out of this 1000 MW through West Bengal and 160 MW through Tripura. BPDB has an agreement with the Indian power sector body NVVN to import electricity from Tripura.

According to TSECL, there is a contract to supply 160 MW of electricity from Tripura. At present the company is supplying 100 to 110 MW of electricity. The head of the organization said that currently they have received the electricity supply bill for the month of January. Even after receiving it, three to four months arrears are still there. Due to this the power supply is limited.

Debashish Sarkar said, 'We cannot suddenly stop power supply. It is part of an international trade. The reason for limiting power supply is non-receipt of money on time. If we get regular bills, the revenue of TSECL would be better. We could contribute to the economy of the state in a big way. Bangladesh is paying the arrears in installments. This is affecting the fund management of the Tripira State Electricity Corporation.

However BPDB refused to comment on this issue of reduced power supply from Tripura.

Load management of imported electricity in the country is done from the National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC). It is operated by Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB). 

According to the company's data on power import from Tripura for the last three months, the maximum power imported from the state has been 132 MW so far. And the minimum is like 80 MW. 

As part of cooperation in the power sector, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Bangladesh and India in the power sector in 2010. Under this, an agreement to import 100 MW of electricity from Tripura's power company TSECL through NVVN was signed. 

Then on March 15, 2016, a power purchase agreement was signed between NTPC and PDB. Later on April 10, 2017, another agreement was signed between PDB and NVVN for the purpose of importing 60 MW of electricity. 

At present 60-70 MW power generation has decreased from Tripura's power plants. At one time there was electricity surplus in the state. 

At present, the demand for electricity is being met through exchange. Gas based power plants in Tripura are not running at full capacity due to shortage of gas. 

There has been an increase in the use of thermal power plants. It has also increased the cost of electricity production.