Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu flags various electricity-related issues with Centre

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami raised the issues with Union Minister of State for Power, R.K. Singh, at a meeting in Chennai

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami raised the issues with Union Minister of State for Power, R.K. Singh, at a meeting in Chennai   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

During an interaction with Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami raised various issues, including the Electricity Act, 2003 (Amendment), Bill 2020, the PM-KUSUM scheme, liquidity infusion in distressed DISCOMs and coal and mines issues, among others.

Mr. Singh was in Chennai on Wednesday to call on Mr. Palaniswami in the Secretariat here. Both the Chief Minister and the Minister from the Centre had a meeting with officials from departments concerned.

“As for the Electricity Act, 2003 (Amendment), Bill 2020, it is the consistent policy of the Tamil Nadu government that the farmers should receive free power and it needs to be continued. Therefore, the DBT principle should not be applied for the agricultural sector. Further, the Tamil Nadu government has been providing 100 units free for all domestic consumers for which the government provides a subsidy to TANGEDCO. This scheme may also be kept outside the scope of the DBT system,” Mr. Palaniswami said in a representation handed over to the Union Minister.

Since the subsidy provided by the State government to the agricultural sector and domestic consumers was released to TANGEDCO directly and as they were properly assessed with the approval of the State (Regulatory) Commission, the mode of payment of subsidy may be left to the consideration of the State government, he insisted.

The draft Amendment Bill, 2020 allowing private franchisee/ sub-licencee, would only lead to cherry-picking of remunerative areas by the franchisee/sub-distribution licencee, affecting the DISCOMs directly and thereby the public interest, he contended. “The State DISCOMs will be left with serving social sector obligations and rural areas which will result in massive losses to the DISCOMs,” he pointed out.

The State government also opposed the fixing of hydropower purchase obligations separately, as the hydel generation was seasonal and monsoon-dependent, and not in the control of the DISCOMs. “To avoid disparity among the States with different sources of renewable energy available, it is suggested that renewable purchase obligation (RPO) can be fixed for total renewable energy rather than independently fixing for Solar, Non-Solar, Hydro, etc.” the representation said.

As for the PM-KUSUM scheme, the Chief Minister said instead of separating agricultural feeders and solarising them, it would be better to solarise individual grid-connected pump sets, as separation of agricultural feeders would be a costly proposal and would also cause unrest among farmers.

While welcoming the Centre’s liquidity infusion package of ₹90,000 crore to the DISCOMs to clear the dues of generators and transmission companies, the Tamil Nadu government has requested the relaxation of norms for working capital under UDAY, since there was no headroom available for TANGEDCO.

“Further, there is no subsidy overdue from the Tamil Nadu government. Meanwhile, the TANGEDCO has already applied for the financial assistance of ₹20,622 crore to PFC and REC,” he noted and went on to request the Union Minister to expedite the sanction, to avail financial assistance at a concessional interest rate.

The Chief Minister also requested the release of the recovered amount of ₹268.86 crore towards the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) Part (A) project and also to convert the RAPDRP Part-B project’s 50% loan amount i.e. ₹1,330.93 crore as grant.

As M/s Coal India Limited (CIL) had curtailed the existing linkage quantity of 20.445 MTPA to 18.791 MTPA, the State government urged for the restoration to 20.445 MTPA, and also to consider the enhancement of the linkages allotted to North Chennai TPS II (2X600MW) and Mettur TPS II (1X600MW) to 6.62 MTPA and 3.31 MTPA respectively.

The total coal required for TANGEDCO’s power stations is approximately 72,000 metric tonnes per day and the total Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) quantity available at present including the side agreement is 21.291 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA). “In order to reduce costs, Coal India may be directed to supply coal at the consumption point of Thermal Plants. This will directly benefit consumers by reducing the cost of power,” the representation said.

Though the development of Chandrabila coal block allotted to TANGEDCO has been adversely affected due to non-issuance of clearance to explore in the forest area of the block, the State government requested the Union Minister for Power to recommend to MoEF & CC in this regard to expedite the clearance.

As it was going to be beneficially used for export of renewable energy from Southern Region to the rest of the country, the State government requested the Centre to declare the Raigarh-Pugalur -Trissur HVDC transmission corridor as strategic and of national importance similar to the Biswanath/Chariali (North Eastern Region) – Agra (Northern region) HVDC transmission system.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 5:39:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-flags-various-electricity-related-issues-with-centre/article32021369.ece

Next Story