CHENNAI: TANGEDCO on Monday informed the Madras High Court that since residents spent several hours staying indoors due to the lockdown the power consumption increased that led to the rise in power charges.
It also said that the entire power consumption levy was carried out as per the Tamil Nadu electricity supply code and there was no violation of rules. The court was hearing a plea related to the increase of power
charges levied to consumers during this lockdown period.
A division bench comprising justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha recorded the submissions of TANGEDCO while hearing the plea of advocate ML Ravi.
The petitioner stated that the field staff of TANGEDCO had failed to note down the electricity meter readings of several power consumers due to the lockdown. However, the methodology carried out now in
recording the power consumption was "arbitrary and unjust", he added.
The petitioner submitted that the present mode of calculation has affected thousands of consumers using 100 to 500 units every billing cycle who had to shell out more money.
Countering the submissions made by the petitioner, Additional advocate general PH Aravind Pandian for TANGEDCO said that the bill is now generated on bi-monthly basis and split into equal amounts for the
period from January to May.
He explained that the period to which charges were already paid on a previous month consumption basis and was deducted from the amount already paid to finally arrive at the balance amount in the May 2020
The charges were calculated based on different slabs for those who consume below 100 units, 101 to 200 units, 201 to 500 units, and above 500 units.
While the government provides a full subsidy for the first 100 units to all consumers, every unit consumed beyond that was charged at different rates for those falling under different slabs, said the counter affidavit filed on behalf of TANGEDCO.
Tangedco also said there was no provision to divide the total units into two equal parts and deduct the previous month’s bill paid to arrive for the present amount. The bench recording the submissions adjourned the petition to July 8.