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Electricity Co. Shuts Off Power

October 12, 1998

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ An electricity company owned by India’s government shut off power to a province that was behind in paying its bills and similarly threatened two other states, newspapers reported Monday.

Residents in the West Bengal state were girding for power outages after the National Thermal Power Corporation suspended its supplies because of arrears of $170 million, The Statesman newspaper said.

Despite the suspension of power supply, West Bengal was not near a crisis, said officials who hope to overcome the shortfall from a new unit of a provincial government-owned power station commissioned Sunday.

The company has also threatened to similarly shut down power to neighboring Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, and the coastal province of Orissa. In all, the company’s outstanding dues in eastern India stand at over $714 million, The Times of India reported.

Most of India’s power needs are met by hydroelectricity, but the use of nuclear power has continued in parts of the country for years.

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