Our Association, TAMILNADU ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS’ ASSOCIATION (TECA) represents power Consumers of state of Tamil Nadu. Our members include Large, Medium and Small industries from Engineering, Information Technology, Hospitality, Health Care, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Pharmaceuticals, Automobiles, Auto-Components, Building Materials and Textile sectors. Our association serves more than 600 HT consumers across the state. Many of the Large Power Consumers are our esteemed members. The total connected load of our Members is about 905 MVA which forms substantial load to state’s grid.
We welcome TANGEDCO Chairman’s remarks that Industry should partner with TANGEDCO in making TANGEDCO commercially viable. We also appreciate Chairman’s remarks that “it is in the mutual interest to ensure that we sit across table and try to relook at concessions.
We are very conscious of fact that for Industrial Sector in Tamil Nadu to survive and prosper, TANGEDCO should be gradually become profitable and vibrant. Indeed entire economy of the State depends on health of TANGEDCO. Therefore, we, representing industrial and commercial consumers are more willing to sit down and talk to TANGEDCO to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions to our common issues.
At the same time TANGEDCO must also recognise and acknowledge fact, health of TANGEDO depends on health and prosperity of its industrial and commercial consumers. It is time that we realise that we are connected to each other as suppliers and buyers of any other industry on equal terms.
The confrontational and acrimonious relationship between us must end for mutual health. We must deal with each other in a win-win situation. Chairman want us to give up our “legacy concessions”, the Chairman must also be willing to give up “legacy rights”.
It is unfortunate that Chairman imply in remarks that present difficulties of TANGEDCO is entirely due to “legacy concessions”. We wish to submit that they were Industry’s contractual rights. Wind power banking was offered by Govt of Tamil Nadu and TNEB to promote wind power installations. Wind power has helped TANGEDCO to overcome power shortages in many years. At present, it is one of the cheapest sources of power to TANGEDCO.
Chairman also termed Open Access as a ‘legacy concession’. Open Access is a statutory right conferred by the Electricity Act, 2003 for consumers. The consumers have been given this right nearly ten years ago. How is this a “concession”? It is the intention of The Electricity Act to provide a choice to the consumers for the source of their supply. The Govt of India proposes to extend choice in the amendments to the Electricity Act soon.
Group Captive system has been put in place by the provisions of Electricity Act and TNERC regulations. How is this a “concession”?
TANGEDCO have claimed that these three “legacy concessions” were causing huge stress and heavy financial burden to TANGEDCO. The users of all these three ‘concessions” have been paying to TANGEDCO the charges determined by TNERC, reimbursing fully costs incurred and claimed by TANGEDCO for permitting these arrangements. They cannot be the sources of the stress.
The industrial and commercial consumers have adopted these three arrangements to ensure they have reliable, continuous and competitively priced sources of power. As a matter of fact, they continue to get most of their power requirements from TANGEDCO and only supplement it from these sources. These sources became widely adopted due to the shortage and iniquitous supply and restrictions on consumption enforced by TANGEDCO unilaterally in the past. But for these arrangements many industrial units would have become unviable and closed down. For most of the high tension industrial consumers in Tamil Nadu, electricity is a major cost of production. A costly or unreliable power would throw them out of business in the national and international markets they operate in. By adopting these sources at considerable investment away from their prime business activity, they have preserved employment in the State and contributed to the tax revenues of the Governments, benefiting the economy of the State and the Country.
The Chairman have accused of the industrial consumers resorting to litigation to block TANGEDCO’s efforts. We think the boot is on the other foot. It is TANGEDCO which has forced it consumers to resort to courts. And if Chairman would examine the past litigations, they would notice in many cases TANGEDO has gone repeatedly on the appeal to the Supreme Court, hoping to exhaust its consumers. No commercial enterprise can afford to alienate its profitable consumers, nor an industry be at logger heads with one its major vendors. It is time to find non-ligation route to resolve issues.
The industrial and commercial consumers of TANGEDCO are quite concerned about the financial health of TANGEDCO. Chairman rightly observed “unless TANGEDCO is taken back to health, it will take the industry downhill”. Industries are willing to support TANGEDCO in this effort, but not at the coast of their own survival. It is Govt of Tamil Nadu which has to take the necessary steps in this regard. We are confident that with correct measures by the Govt, TANGEDCO can come become a profitable DISCOM. It has the physical, technical, and human resources and talents. It is time that TANGEDCO becomes a competitive commercial enterprise.
S R Rabindar