Over 6,000 farmers in Coimbatore to get free power connection

Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise V. Senthilbalaji (third right) handing over order for free power connection to a farmer at a function held at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Saturday. Collector G.S. Sameeran (second left) is also seen.   | Photo Credit: Siva SaravananS

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) would give free power connection to 6,363 farmers in Coimbatore, Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise V. Senthilbalaji said at a function organised here on Saturday to give orders for free power for farmers.

So far, Tangedco had given free power connection to 1,103 farmers in the district. At the function, he gave orders for 89 farmers. To the others, Tangedco would be giving the orders before March 2022.

The decision to give free power connection to farmers was based on Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s announcement in the Assembly. He had announced that Tangedco would give one lakh free power connection to farmers across the State.

The announcement was only a continuation of what the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had announced. After announcing on November 17, 1990 that the State Government would give free power connection he had followed it up with a Government Order giving power connection to 12.40 lakh farmers.

The cost of giving the free power connection to 6,363 farmers in Coimbatore worked out to ₹48.85 crore, he said and added that Tangedco was investing more in Coimbatore. It had installed 154 transformers and began steps to upgrade or build 13 sub-stations in the district.

In all, Tangedco was investing ₹144 crore in Coimbatore, Mr. Senthilbalaji said.

While giving the free power connection to farmers, he had instructed officials in Coimbatore that Tangedco should not impose any additional financial cost on farmers. Tangedco had chosen to go ahead and given free power connection even though its financial position was a cause for concern. More than 50% of Tangedco’s annual expenditure was spent on power purchase, thanks to the decisions taken in the last 10 years of AIADMK government.

The power generation and distribution agency had incurred a debt of ₹1.59 lakh crore. To service the debt, it paid ₹15,000 crore to ₹16,000 crore a year in interest. This was the doing of the previous government, he said and added that the AIADMK government’s performance in power generation was no good either.

It had added only 59 MW to the State-installed generation capacity. And, of the installed generation capacity of 4,320 MW from thermal power plants, Tangedco had managed to generate only 1,800 MW.

Soon after assuming office the DMK government had increased the power generated to 3,500 MW. And, for improving the installed generation capacity, the Government had planned projects for generating 4,000 MW from solar power plants and 2,000 MW from gas-based plants.

Tangedco would soon begin work on those projects, the Minister said.

In response to a question on overpricing liquor in TASMAC shops, Mr. Senthilbalaji said after a review of complaints received in the recent past, the TASMAC had suspended 135 supervisors and salesmen.

It had asked general managers in the districts to take complaints over WhatsApp and attend to those at the earliest.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 10:41:51 AM |

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