‘Tamil Nadu restructuring power board to get central grants’

June 17th, 2009 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 17 (IANS) The restructuring of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) is aimed at getting central assistance for various power projects and not for selling its subsidiaries to private parties, state Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami said here wednesday.
“The central government has categorically stated it will not provide financial assistance if the state electricity board is not restructured in line with the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003,” Veeraswami said replying to a debate on grants for the energy department in the assembly.

The minister said the government has approved re-organisation of the electricity board by setting up a holding company, TNEB Ltd, as well as two subsidiaries, Tamil Nadu Transmission Corp and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp.

“Ninety-nine percent of the discussions with the TNEB unions on restructuring is over. Employees can choose the company they want to work in,” Veeraswami added.

Submitting the revenue estimates for 2009-10 with a Rs.7,000-crore deficit, Veeraswami said: “Only 54 percent of the power generated is available for sale and the balance is given free to farmers, weavers, hutments and others. For the past three years, power tariff has not been revised upwards.”

According to him, the average tariff for home consumers in Tamil Nadu is Rs.2.34 per unit as against over Rs.3 in several Indian states.

In addition, the board purchases power at Rs.8-Rs.11 per unit from Power Trading Corp to meet the shortfall in supply. Last year, he said, TNEB spent Rs.1,727 crore on power purchase.

Veeraswami said that by 2013-14, the state would enhance its power capacity by over 7,000 MW.

The government has also sanctioned modernisation and installation of co-generation plants to generate 234 MW of power at its 17 cooperative sugar mills on an outlay of Rs.1,500 crore.

The electricity board will add 1,893 MW to its generation capacity, apart from 4,100 MW through joint ventures with Neyveli Lignite Corp, NTPC Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals.

Land acquisition for the proposed 4,000 MW ultra mega power project at Cheyyur will be over in three months time, the minister added.

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