‘Act against Tangedco for violating norm’

It cannot collect transformer cost: activist

A consumer activist has written to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), seeking action against Tangedco for non-compliance with the regulation that the utility should bear the cost of installing distribution transformers, with associated equipment, and not charge consumers.

In his letter, K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause, said TNERC could not remain a mere spectator in the issue, despite all the facts being brought to its knowledge.

“TNERC is soft towards Tangedco, and is unwilling to take any effective and strong action under sections 142 and 146 of the Electricity Act, which deal with the levying of penalty for non-compliance with regulations, despite pleas to initiate suo motu action,” he said.

According to him, despite the regulation and orders from TNERC and the Electricity Ombudsman, Tangedco continued to collect the charges.

Field-level officials said they had not received any communication from their higher officials not to collect the charges, Mr. Kathirmathiyon said.

On September 24, the Electricity Ombudsman, in a case filed by real estate developers, had ruled that as per the regulation, charges for installation work, including drawing a portion of any HT line on the consumer’s premises, alone should be collected from the consumer.

Collection of the cost of distribution transformers, with associated equipment/accessories such as AB switch, HG Fuse, DT structure/pole, by Tangedco, went against the regulations and directions, he ruled, and instructed Tangedco to refund the excess charges collected in all similar cases and file a compliance report in 60 days. Mr. Kathirmathiyon said a compliance report had not been filed.

Sources said real estate developers were planning to seek action under Section 142 of the Electricity Act for non-compliance with Ombudsman’s order.

Mr. Kathirmathiyon said 46 associations in Coimbatore had given a joint memorandum on the issue to the Chief Minister recently.

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