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Can’t meet Centre’s deadline to install smart electric meters, says TANGEDCO

The Union government’s direction was aimed at avoiding revenue leakages in State-owned power companies, which have already incurred massive losses.

Published: 10th December 2021 04:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2021 04:40 AM   |  A+A-

Smart Electricity Meters

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Responding to the Union government’s direction that all States and Union Territories should replace conventional energy meters with prepaid smart meters by 2023-24, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has said this is not feasible due to the poor supply of smart meters in the market.

The Union government’s direction was aimed at avoiding revenue leakages in State-owned power companies, which have already incurred massive losses. Several states, including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, have already started installing smart meters.Under the smart city project in Tamil Nadu, TANGEDCO planned to set up 1.42 lakh smart meters at a cost of Rs 142 crore (including server charges). But only 40 per cent of this target has been realised.

The main direction was to set up smart meters in government offices, which have pending dues of `8,373 crore as of March 31, 2021. But, the State government is yet to take any serious steps in this regard. The Union government had earlier imported smart meters from China and Germany. But now, only Germany exports these devices to India. Though indigenous smart meters are available in the market, they are priced at between Rs 6,500 and Rs 7,500. TANGEDCO is of the view that this is too expensive to be feasible.

As of December 6, there are 19,582 defective meters across the State. In these places, approximate charges are collected without any measurement, resulting in a loss of revenue. Installing smart meters would solve such problems.TANGEDCO officials told TNIE that as of now, there is no plan to install smart meters in government offices.”One of these officials also admitted that smart meters would help them generate additional revenue of 15-20 per cent, and would be a permanent solution for the loss-stricken TANGEDCO.

‘Would bring more money’

A TANGEDCO official said smart meters would help generate an additional revenue of 15-20%, and would be a permanent solution for the loss-stricken corporation



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