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24 Feb 2020, Edition - 1686, Monday

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Coimbatore

Power bills topping rupees 6 crores paid for unused borewells by local bodies

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore : A city-based NGO, fighting for the consumers’ cause, on Monday said that a huge amount is being paid by the local bodies as electricity charges to TANGEDCO, continuously in respect of EB connection for large number of unused borewells, all over the State for years together.

Taking this into account, Coimbatore Consumer Cause conducted a deep study in the Coimbatore Circle of TANGEDCO and collected the details, which revealed that when the borewells are not used and no electricity is utilized even for nil consumption, the local bodies have to remit a fixed charge at the rate of Rs.120/- per kw.

Most of the borewells are having 10 kw (average) connection and we found many are with much higher kw and it is as high as 35 kw (Mettupalayam Taluk–Bagathur Village) where Rs.4,200 is being paid as fixed charges for each bill without using the electricity for the abandoned borewell. its Secretary, K Kathirmathiyon said.

The district alone has nearly 3,396 unused bore wells for several years and a total sum of Rs.28 lakhs is paid by all local bodies put together per bimonthly bill without consuming a single unit of electricity.

The total electricity bill amount paid so far for the unused borewells is a staggering Rs. 6,28,95,610 without consuming single unit, he pointed out.

Stating that a large number of bore wells are not in use for 12 years and more, right from 2007, he said that the data with TANGEDCO (TNEB) are available only from 2007 when it was computerized and hence, many of those borewells might be not in use even much earlier to 2007.

This must be prevalent in all the local bodies–Corporation, Municipalities, Town Panchayats and Village Panchayats, across the State and even with a conservative estimate Rs. 3 crore is being paid to TANGEDCO as Electricity charges for the unused power to the borewells for every two months in the State and they might have paid several hundred cores so far, Kathirmathiyon said.

Since the authorities in the local bodies may not be aware about these issues, the Government should take appropriate steps and issue directions so that this would ensure stoppage of avoidable expenses as well to identify the abandoned borewells on top priority, he said.

Government should instruct all local bodies to verify/identify the EB connections of the unused / abandoned borewells for which electricity bills are being paid and to surrender the connections and to close all such unused/abandoned borewells.

For this, the local body personnel and TANGEDCO personnel may liaise and identify such EB connection/borewell and then the local body authorities must take appropriate action to close down all borewells effectively to prevent accidents/disasters as has been happening all over Tamil Nadu now and then, Kathirmathiyon said.

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