Chennai power con­sumers will soon get ‘smart me­ters’

‘Pilot study un­der way in Coim­bat­ore’

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

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.”

Var­dah im­pact

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.

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