Tamil Nadu

Notice to TNERC, Tangedco on tariff hike

A participant airs his views at a public hearing on power tariff revision organised by the TNERC in Chennai recently. Photo: M. Moorthy

A participant airs his views at a public hearing on power tariff revision organised by the TNERC in Chennai recently. Photo: M. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

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Any decision subject to the outcome of PIL, says High Court

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court to prohibit the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) from proceeding with the proposed tariff revision without following the mandatory provisions and requirements.

There was no transparency in the exercise, and the authorities should prove that there were losses year after year, requiring a tariff increase, the petitioner said.

Ordering notice to the TNERC, Tangedco and the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation, returnable by three weeks, the First Bench, of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, on Monday made it clear that any decision by the authorities would be subject to the outcome of the petition.

R. Gandhi, a senior advocate, said in his petition that the Supreme Court had made it clear that only those from the judiciary should be appointed as chairpersons of the State commissions. When the Supreme Court was seized of the maintainability of appointment of persons other than from the judiciary as chairpersons, the TNERC Chairman initiating suo motu revision of tariff was untenable in law.

The Tangedco and Tantransco were incurring losses continuously over the years, at the cost of the public. The TNERC had never attempted to review the financial performance of the two agencies. Power theft was going on in several areas, which were made out to be transmission and distribution losses, and this also caused the public enterprise a heavy loss. The TNERC, which should go into the reasons for the losses and study the continuous non-performance of the two bodies, was silent.

Further, public hearings were conducted only in smaller towns such as Tirunelveli and Erode. No answers had been provided so far to the questions raised at the hearings.

The Bench said that after the authorities filed the counter, the petitioner should file the rejoinder by two weeks thereafter. It posted the matter for further hearing on December 16.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 8:02:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/notice-to-tnerc-tangedco-on-tariff-hike/article6584738.ece

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