R. Srikanth

Time-frame for payment increased to 20 days

CHENNAI: The new system of assessment and collection of power bills for low-tension (LT) consumers will be extended to the entire city and parts of Kancheepuram district from June 1.

At present, the system covers Chennai's five divisions — Anna Salai, Anna Nagar, Mylapore, K.K. Nagar and Perambur. On extension, it will cover the rest of the city and the Chengalpattu area.

Under the new system, the assessment and collection of bills would be carried out throughout the month, though there is no change in the bi-monthly billing cycle for the consumers.

The time-frame for payment of the bills has been increased to 20 days from 15 days.

A senior official of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) said that orders had been passed for implementing the system.

Steps were being taken to identify the route map of the particular area for undertaking individual assessment and redeploying assessors in areas where there was shortage.

The system was launched on a trial basis on March 1, 2009 in the Anna Salai Division, and was later extended to four more divisions in February 2010.

On the advantages of the new system, the official said that there was optimum utilisation of manpower, reduction of crowds at the payment counters and regular cash flow for the board.

Previously, meter reading was recorded in the second fortnight of the month with payment dates fixed from the 1st to the 15th of the subsequent month.

Similarly, the TNEB has been taking steps to ease payment of electricity bills online through banks.

The official said that online payment could now be made through five banks, including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, City Union Bank and Indian Overseas Bank. Around 30,000 people pay the bills through online mode every month.

Also, the Board has an arrangement of paying electricity bills in post offices. This is being tried out on a trial basis in two post offices in Anna Road Head Post Office and Anna Nagar Post Office. Since Wednesday, 50 more post offices in the city have started accepting payment of electricity bills, he added.