CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it cannot grant any further extension of time for domestic consumers to pay electricity charges as it has been maintaining and operating its distribution system throughout the state 24 X 7 despite the lockdown.
A division bench comprising justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramsamy was hearing a plea related to deferring the payment of electricity charges till July 31 for the amount payable from March.
The petitioner submitted that due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it is primarily the LT (low tension) consumers who are grossly affected. Many of the domestic consumers are not paid salaries and in the case of those who are self-employed the situation is much worse.
TANGEDCO in its reply informed that at least 75 per cent of consumers have availed the benefit of time extension already and they have also been remitting the current consumption bills since March.
In its affidavit, TANGEDCO said that the bill months of May 2020 payable in June 2020 only 13.62 percent of consumers are yet to make payment of Rs 478.36 crore.
TANGEDCO also said that it is incurring fixed costs and other expenditure on the salaries of employees despite the delay in cash flows on account of extension of time. However, it has extended the time till July 6, for areas where complete lockdown is being implemented, TANGEDCO informed.
The court recorded the submissions and adjourned the plea to July 2.