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Higher power tariff plan dropped

T. Ramakrishnan


Result of criticism by Opposition

Severe shortfall in power production


CHENNAI: The State government on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of its decision to levy higher rate for those domestic consumers who consume over 600 units in two months and who do not meet the stipulation of 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption.

Even though only five lakh consumers out of 1.3 crore domestic consumers would have been affected by the move, the government respected the sentiment of Opposition leaders, who had expressed the opinion that the original decision would adversely affect households that consumed over 600 units.

“There will be no additional charges for all the households,” an official release said. On Tuesday, leaders of different parties including the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) criticised the government for its move to impose additional charges.

Explaining the rationale behind the government’s earlier decision, the release said the new regulations were announced on Monday with a view to ensuring power distribution without affecting farmers and households in an “inevitable scenario” of enforcing power cut.

The situation of “unexpected shortage” on the power front arose this year as adequate capacity addition had not been made in the past.

Petition

A Tamil Nadu Electricity Board official said the organisation in its petition before the State Electricity Regulatory Commission would seek approval for the levy of additional charges for commercial complexes and industrial establishments covered under the category of low-tension and penalty for high tension consumers in the event of their violating the quota.

[The government had announced 40 per cent power cut for the HT consumers].

Another official said the Board had been taking up with the Central authorities the matter of severe shortfall in power production of the Central Generating Stations (CGS). As against the State’s share of 2,825 MW, it now received around 1,530 MW.

Neyveli thermal stations were supplying about 765 MW less power; Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station, 180 MW and the Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station in Andhra Pradesh, 150 MW. The shortfall had arisen in view of shortage of fuel such as lignite and uranium.

Heavy rain in Neyveli was cited as the reason for the shortage of lignite.

Had the State got at least 1,000 MW more from the stations, power crisis would have been less severe, the official added.

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