Electricity consumers in the region have demanded adequate power supply before considering a tariff revision. They said the focus should be on increasing the power generation in the State to meet the demand.
Speaking at a public hearing on the proposed tariff revision, organised by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission here on Tuesday, governing council member of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, B. Sri Hari, said the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board should reduce cross subsidisation of power to other consumers. The board should not raise tariff for industrial consumers. There should be no discrimination in distribution of power shortage. K. Ilango, president of the Coimbatore District Small Industries' Association, said industries were already suffering from power cut, three hours of load shedding every day and peak hour restrictions. This had increased the cost of power to industries as they used generators. Further increase in tariff would add to their burden.
K. Selvaraju, secretary General of the Southern India Mills' Association, said textile industry was the single largest industry in the State consuming power at a constant load round the clock through out the year. Hence, the cost to supply power was least for the industry. “The textile industry has a strong case to reduce the power tariff by at least Re. 1 a unit,” he said. About 90 per cent of the cross subsidy was loaded on the HT industry.
President of the South India Spinners' Association G. Soundararajan said the HT industries were the worst hit by the power cut. Free power should be metered and assessed.
Managing Director of Premier Mills K.V. Srinivasan said the industry should be encouraged to invest in wind power. K. Kasthurirangaian, President of the Indian Wind Power Association, said the wind year should be from May to April and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board should make the payments for banked wind energy.
President of the Indian Medical Association, Coimbatore, N.V. Girish Kumar, said healthcare sector was now under the commercial tariff and it should be brought under industrial tariff.
S. Ravikumar, president of the Coimbatore and Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs Association, said micro units should be exempted from the hike. Most of the units were functioning from rented buildings that had sub-meters. According to the Tamil Nadu Rural and Micro Industries Entrepreneurs Association, several micro industries were already closing down and increasing the tariff would only add to the burden of the units.
Representatives of the Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Sangham, Erode Agriculture Association, the Nilgiris Potato and Vegetable Growers' Association, Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Vizhipunarvu Iyyakkam, and Tamizhaga Vivasaigal Sangham sought uninterrupted power supply for agriculture consumers. Free supply for this sector should be continued, they said. The mushroom growers in the Nilgiris District sought free power for those with less than 10 HP connected load and power at a subsidised rate for those with higher connected load.
The powerloom owners in Coimbatore and Namakkal areas said power tariff should not be increased for powerlooms and free power to powerloom units should be increased from the existing 500 units.
President of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Consumers' Association A. V. Varadharajan said since any tariff revision should move towards the average, the HT consumers should be given a reduction in tariff from the current levels. The board should take steps to increase power generation in the State. M. Krishnasamy, former Corporation Councillor (MDMK), staged a walkout with his partymen, branding the entire hearing as an eyewash as the Chief Minister had already said there would be a revision. He said there should be no discrimination in implementing the power cut in the State.
Chairman of the Commission S. Kabilan, members of the commission R. Rajupandi and K. Venugopal and chairman of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board C.P. Singh were present at the hearing.
Keywords: Citizens' apathy