CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rajesh Lakhoni has directed all Deputy Finance Controllers (DFC) to increase revenue at the utility’s 44 circles by ten per cent each.
The direction was issued by the CMD at a recent meeting of DFCs in Chennai, a senior official told TNIE. He has also ordered them to have all Low Tension (LT) power connections inspected. The official said many LT consumers on the same localities obtained connections using different names and dodged paying additional charges, leading to revenue loss for TANGEDCO.
According to Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) norms, LT consumers exceeding their 150 Kilowatt (KW) limit should pay demand charges of `350 a KW and the connection must be converted to High Tension (HT). Hence, all DFCs are instructed to merge such connections and to convert them to HT supply.
This apart, the State-owned power company has trouble handling agriculture and hut services (thatched houses) as well as a 100-unit free system. As per norms, hut services are allowed to utilize a single 60-watt bulb. This norm, however, is often violated, with consumers using fans, mixers, grinders, and other appliances using the hut connection. Even those staying in tiled-roof houses obtained power connections under the hut service scheme. No action has been taken against them.
The TNERC had strictly instructed, multiple times, that metering connections of all consumers is vital, but the utility is yet to meet the deadline, seeking extension after extension. That both the Dravidian parties announce free-power schemes to gain votes is putting additional burden on the utility, TANGEDCO officials said. “For example, there are over 50 lakh power consumers whose consumption is below 100 units. They don’t pay even Rs 1 for the consumption.
The State government’s not releasing funds properly adds to the financial troubles, said an official, adding that hut-service consumers with political background tend to arm-twist TANGEDCO into not cutting their connections.
No sign of balance sheet
TNEB is required by law to release its balance sheet and submit it to TNERC at the end of each financial year. But 2020-21 balance sheet is yet to be released. Officials said they are waiting for the government’s approval