MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has remained the backbone of the State’s growth, effectively implementing all the schemes of the Government, K.V. Ramasamy, Chief Engineer (Distribution), Madurai Region, said.

Tracing the origin of electricity in Tamil Nadu from the days of British rule, he said that Board had grown by leaps and bounds over its five decades of existence. Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of TNEB organised here recently, Mr. Ramasamy said that the State had the lowest rate of power theft in the country.

“In keeping with the modern times, the billing process has been computerised, enabling a customer to pay his bills anywhere within the region. Soon, the facility of paying bills anywhere in the State will be put into operation,” he said.

Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, KR. Periakaruppan, said that many multinational companies were ready to come to the State to work in the power sector.

“A need exists to increase the power generation. The Government is focussing on getting the required capital towards this purpose. Efforts are on to provide uninterrupted power supply,” he said.

Speaking about those employed on a consolidated basis and contract workers, Mr. Periakaruppan said that at present there were 24,000 such employees. Over the next four year, all of them would be made permanent with 6,000 to be absorbed every year.

Minister for Revenue and Prisons, I. Periasami, said that TNEB was one of the most efficiently-run electricity boards in the country.

Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare, A. Tamilarasi, said that power generation in the State stood at nearly 10,000 megawatts with more than 185.82 lakh users and 1,148 sub stations.

Madurai East MLA, N. Nanmaran, said that Arcot N. Veerasamy, Minister for Electricity, had declared in the floor of the Assembly that underground lines for electricity would be taken up not only in Madurai but all over the State.

At present, underground cables system was being put in place around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

Madurai West MLA, K.S.K. Rajendran, said that uninterrupted power supply was essential for major industries and Information Technology companies, which were planning to come to Tamil Nadu.