Caveat Emptor — The current scenario


It's time the electricity sector is revamped, as the city grapples with power cuts and consistent low voltage

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Distribution Standards of Performance Regulations laid down by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission defines quality of electricity supply as providing uninterrupted, reliable and quality electric supply at stipulated voltage and frequency without sags or spikes.

It also states that when a consumer makes a complaint regarding quality of power supply, an authorised representative of the Board should visit the consumer's premises within 48 hours of complaint and convey in writing within 10 days the action proposed to be taken for attending to the complaint, and the time by which it would be attended.

If that's adhered to, the officials would have had to visit every single household in the city the last two months, what with the frequent power cuts — informed and unapprised — and the voltage fluctuations! While something as basic as even sleeping requires electricity, the need for it becomes even more important considering our dependency on machines has increased manifold.

In such a scenario, consumers being informed in advance about power cuts helps. But that alone does not translate to efficient functioning.

Also, by and large, the timings are not strictly adhered to. So, even if one plans the day based on the information, it becomes futile because there are power cuts in excess. Power cuts cannot be the answer to shortage in generation and supply.

Further, sustained low voltage and frequent voltage fluctuations also add to the problem.

From elevators getting stuck midway and air conditioners trying to compete with the fans to mixer grinders abandoned for the traditional grinding stone, the situation has been causing great inconvenience to everyone. Even with an inverter, the situation is no better as it fails to be of any use due to low voltage.

Besides, many household appliances get damaged because of the sudden surge in supply.

At a time when the world is looking at ways to mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change, the use of gensets contributes to carbon emission.

The magnitude of the situation calls for immediate action. There is urgent need for the sector to be revisited and revamped to ensure uninterrupted, quality power supply to all.

(The writer works with CAG, which offers free advice on consumer complaints to its members. For membership details/queries contact 24914358/24460387 or

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2018 9:22:24 AM |