TNEB to fix meters only for measuring energy efficiency of motors, says Chairman C.P. Singh

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board will fix meters during implementation of the free pumpset scheme only to measure energy efficiency of the motors supplied to farmers free of cost, its Chairman C.P. Singh said on Saturday.

A section of farmers had expressed apprehension that fixing of the meters could result in imposition of charges for the power consumed by agricultural connections in future.

Allaying the fear, Mr. Singh said that the primary objective of the scheme was to replace old motors of farmers with energy efficient ones, which would help save 20 to 30 per cent of electricity.

“We are installing meters just to measure the energy efficiency of the motors. This has nothing to do with the free power supplied by the government to the agricultural connections,” he said while participating in a meeting held near Anthiyur.

The scheme would be implemented in a phased manner. Over 10,000 farmers would benefit in the first phase.

In Erode district, about 400 farmers of Chennampatti in Anthiyur block had been selected under the first phase.

The TNEB would look into the possibilities of utilising the Melia dubia (malai vembu in Tamil) wood as alternative fuel in co-generation plants of co-operative sugar mills in the State, Mr. Singh said.

“The concept of using Melia dubia wood is still in initial stages. The TNEB will definitely extend support for growing Melia dubia on a large scale if its wood is found to be a better alternative fuel for the co-generation plants in the sugar mills,” Mr. Singh told reporters after inspecting the Melia dubia plantations near Anthiyur.

The State government had allotted over Rs.1,500 crore for establishing co-generation plants in 10 co-operative sugar mills and two Tamil Nadu Sugar Corporation's mills with a total power generation capacity of 187 MW. These plants were expected to be commissioned between June 2011 and September the same year. “The supply of bagasse from sugar mills would last for about four months. For the remaining seven to eight months, the co-generation plants would require alternative fuel for continuous operation. If the Melia dubia wood is found suitable, the board will extend support to the farmers for growing the tree in large numbers,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Singh, along with full-time member of State Planning Commission G. Kumaravelu and Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited General Manager R. Mani inspected the Melia dubia plantations in Varattupallam research centre of the Forest Department and a few other parts in Anthiyur block.