Madurai

Consumers in Madurai raise strong objection to proposed electricity tariff hike during public hearing

M. Chandrasekar, left, Chairman of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission, and K. Venkatesan, right, Member of the Commission, at a public hearing on electricity tariff hike proposals in Madurai on Thursday.

M. Chandrasekar, left, Chairman of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission, and K. Venkatesan, right, Member of the Commission, at a public hearing on electricity tariff hike proposals in Madurai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY G

“The hike in electricity tariff would only lead to many MSMEs closing their shutters,” said S. Vasandhan, Sivakasi Plastics Manufacturers Association during the public hearing organised by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) here on Thursday.

The hearing was chaired by M. Chandrasekar, Chairman of TNERC and K. Venkatesan, member of the Commission.

The Commission received 820 petitions and listened to almost 75 people who had come from Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam, Salem, Sivaganga, Sivakasi, Tiruchi, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi and Tirunelveli. As many as 320 people attended the hearing, said a Tangedco official.

He added that the cost of raw materials has gone exponentially high after 2019 which is already a burden to bear. “Many small scale business units will not be able to sustain the tariff hike at all, as our debts are high, running the business on a daily-basis is difficult and we are yet to recover from the losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Vasandhan.

Tamil Nadu Small Scale Industries Association, former president A. Selvaraj called for cancellation of the peak hour tariff proposed for Low Tension (LT) and Low Tension Current Transformer (LT CT) industries.

He added that implementing the hike would lead to protests across the State for which the attendees clapped thunderously in agreement.

“Big industry would escape hike as they have in-house electricity source through solar and thermal energy unlike smaller units,” said T. S. A. Subramaniam, State coordinator, Tamil Nadu Federation of Powerlooms Associations from Sankarankoil. He also suggested promoting solar power systems among households and smaller commercial establishments.

Tuticorin District Paddy and Rice Owner’s Association, secretary, P. G. Vetrivel said that due to the revised tariff, they would end up paying seven times higher fee for availing low tension service while the high tension category would attract double the fee. “The GST hike on pre-packaged rice has already burdened us. The revision of fixed monthly charge invariably increases the cost of production,” he lamented.

While, R. Karnan, State president, Tamil Nadu Citizens Consumers Protection Centre, said that he had petitioned the authorities, ‘to make feasible revisions that would not rock the boat of consumers’.


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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 6:31:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/consumers-in-madurai-raise-strong-objection-to-proposed-electricity-tariff-hike-during-public-hearing/article65783366.ece