KSEB told to cancel TOTEX model smart meter project

The decision to cancel the TOTEX model came after a directive from the CPM Politburo, which prompted the LDF government’s action.

Published: 04th August 2023 10:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2023 11:00 AM   |  A+A-

Smart meter, Image used for representation purpose.

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Power Department has taken a significant decision by cancelling the tender process for the TOTEX(Total cost of expenditure combining capital expenditure and operational expenditure) model, which involved the procurement of 37 lakh smart meters.

According to the directive issued to KSEB CMD on August 2, a smart meter project that would not burden the common man should be implemented within three months after receiving approval from the centre. While this move has been welcomed by trade unions who have been protesting against the TOTEX model since April 2021, they still find some aspects of the directive unclear.

The directive, issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Power) K R Jyothilal, cited the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) project and stated that the decision to procure 37 lakh smart meters stands cancelled.

“Those power consumers who consume less than 100 units of power will find it really challenging to bear the additional burden of almost Rs 80 per month for a smart meter. Therefore, the KSEB should cancel the tender and instead propose a smart meter project that has a lesser impact on consumers. Steps should be taken to ensure that a new smart meter project gets approved by the centre and is implemented within three months,” says the power ministry directive.

The decision to cancel the TOTEX model came after a directive from the CPM Politburo, which prompted the LDF government’s action.

“There is a lack of clarity on the commercial and industrial consumers where it says only about the normal power consumers. Also, there is no mention of whether the TOTEX model should be changed or not”, said Harilal. 

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