Electricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan announced an array of measures in the Assembly on Thursday, including functioning of select electricity bill collection centres even on holidays, which will benefit consumers in the State.
Replying to a debate on the demand for grants for his department, he said steps are being taken on sending details on power bills and last date of payment to consumers through short messaging system (SMS).
This was aimed at improving collection efficiency of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). The corporation already introduced all-day assessment and collection of power consumption charges to avoid last-minute rush at collection centres. It had also introduced bill collection through Any Time Payment (ATP) machines.
To avoid obstacles while applying for new connections, the government would introduce online application process. Consumers could also manually submit forms in their respective division offices of TANGEDCO.
At present, even after submitting the form, one did not get connection easily in view of shortage of electricity meters. As a remedy, the government had given green signal for consumers to purchase meters from approved dealers. The government would also set up a computerised electricity call centre in Tutucorin and strengthening the existing ones with more telephone lines and manpower.
Apart from solar powered green homes and street lights, the Minister announced an award scheme to be called the Chief Minister's award for consumers who harnessed more solar power, using rooftop photovoltaic panels. An incentive was being planned for those who generated up to 50 MW, using rooftop solar panels.
The government had planned to instal eight 10-KW solar–wind hybrid system at a total cost of Rs 42 lakh. The grant would be provided by the State government and the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.