TN’s quest to power its growth

DMK govt has been on a mission for past 1 year to save the State’s teetering power sector, but it wasn’t without challenges

Published: 07th May 2022 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2022 05:36 AM   |  A+A-

1L power connections were given to farmers in 2021-22

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Mounting losses, over-dependence on power from outside, inadequate power generation and the poor realisation of electricity sold had brought the power sector in TN to the brink of collapse. A year after the DMK government took the reins and managed to bring down losses, the sector continues to be a litmus test for it through the summer.

As soon as the Stalin government assumed office on May 7, 2021, it decided to rectify the frequent interruptions of power supply in some parts of the state. A mass maintenance programme was initiated in June, during which replacement/ rectification of damaged poles, replacement of pillar boxes and maintenance of sub-stations were carried out, a senior Tangedco official told TNIE.

During the year, the task of providing one lakh agriculture service connections was achieved in a period of six months. This is the highest number of farm connections ever implemented in a year.  The scheme was launched by the Chief Minister on September 23, 2021 and completed on March 29. He also interacted with one lakh farmers through a videoconference call from the Tangedco office on April 16. By this scheme, 2.13 lakh acres of agricultural land has been brought under irrigation.

To address the consumers’ complaints, the Chief Minister launched ‘Minnagam’, a new State-level centralised customer care centre (mobile number 9498794987). Till May 3, the customer care centre received 8.05 lakh complaints and addressed 7.99 lakh grievances (99.28%), according to Tangedco.
Another senior official said power generation from the five State-owned thermal stations increased from 15,554 Million Units (MU) to 20,391 MUs in 2021-22.

Interestingly, Tangedco has exceeded the annual targets set by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for hydro-power generation. The power utility has generated 5,514 MUs, about 1,660 MUs more than the target fixed by the CEA for the year 2021-22. Reduction in losses of Tangedco by Rs 2,194 crore in 2021-22 has been the most important achievement by the electricity department, though the loss continues to be colossal Rs 11,214 crore. The State government has made a budget provision of Rs 13,108 crore in 2022-23 towards taking over 100% of the losses incurred by Tangedco during  the year 2021-22. 

This provision of funding, being the first in the history of TNEB, will improve the financial position of Tangedco in 2022-23. With Tamil Nadu seeking to achieve a faster economic growth, providing quality power to industries and corporates across the State will remain a huge challenge for the government.

Story so far...

  •  Savings of Rs 2,194 crore was achieved through measures like improved power generation, interest reduction, sale of fly ash, power swapping, and reduction in distribution losses
  •  Three new zones in Thanjavur, Thiruvannamalai, and Karur have been formed
  •  A total of 24,036 transformers were installed across TN
  •  8.16 lakh new connections
  •  Tangedco received 172.39 lakh tonnes of coal from coal mines
  •  A total of 7,172.04 kilometres of transmission lines were added
  •  Rooftop solar panels with a combined generating capacity of 137 MW were installed


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