Chennai power consumers will soon get ‘smart meters’
‘Pilot study under way in Coimbatore’
Under a ₹750-crore project proposed by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangeco), domestic consumers of electricity and other categories of consumers in Greater Chennai are likely to be provided ‘smart meters.’
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed among the State government, the Central government and Tangdeco under the UDAY scheme (Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana) for the purpose. The UDAY scheme envisages installation of ‘smart meters’ for all those who consume over 500 units per month. Agricultural consumers have been excluded.
At present, a pilot study is under way in Coimbatore (North) electricity distribution circle by installing single phase and three phase ‘smart meters.’
Disclosing this at a conference of Power Ministers Conference in New Delhi on Thursday, P. Thangamani, Electricity Minister, said “on completion of the pilot study, key issues noticed during the period of pilot study, if any, will be addressed to proceed further in coordination with the Ministry of Power.”
The Minister requested the Centre to arrange for the procurement of ‘smart meters’ and supply them to States at “competitive rates” as per the specification prescribed by the Central Electricity Authority instead of allowing the States to procure them independently.
Recalling that Chennai’s power infrastructure was “worst affected” during Cyclone Vardah that lashed the city in December 2016, the Minister pointed out that ₹3,200-crore was proposed to be spent to improve the same. The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) had given an ‘in-principle’ approval for the project. The Minister wanted the Centre to direct the PFC to release the funds immediately.
On the problem of coal shortage, he said this had forced the shut down of some thermal units and Tangdeco had to take steps for coal import.
Set for makeover: The UDAY scheme envisages ‘smart meters’ for those who consume over 500 units a month.