Regularity of meter reading will be monitored; initiative for a year

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has formed a Chairman’s Squad at its headquarters in the city to check discrepancies in day-to-day functioning.

The four-man Chairman’s squad, headed by a Deputy Financial Controller that will have jurisdiction all over the State will function for a period of one year. Members of the team will be changed once in two months. The squad has been tasked with checking the efficiency of local officials regarding meter reading and prompt disconnection of services of defaulting consumers.

The squad will undertake random inspection of consumers’ premises and section offices to check whether meter readings were done by the assessors at the spot and are being uploaded. Their task is also to ensure that power connections of customers who defaulted on payments are cut immediately. Sometimes a mark is made in the register to cut the connection, but it is not actually severed, said Tangedco officials.

The squad is required to verify if the correct tariff is applied to connections on premises where multiple services — domestic, commercial, and high tension — are available.

A senior official of the Tangedco said that while the Chairman’s flying squad was concerned with the issues of energy theft and improper use of electricity connections, its main job will be to prevent loss of revenue arising from deficiencies in meter reading and service disconnections.

The official pointed out that the reason for forming this squad was to ascertain the performance-and efficiency-level of the system. The squad would submit a report to the Chairman to look in to the various deficiencies, in any, in the system. Tangedco has a consumer base of 2.30 crore customers all over the State.

But local officials wonder if it is a good move, considering that on the one hand, there is a shortage of staff and on the other, the number of consumers has doubled and the work load has increased. The best way to check for discrepancies would be to install electronic meter readers that have an automatic meter download facility. A few such products are available and Tangedco should procure and install them, they added.

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