The State Government has been paying several crores of rupees to Tangedco as electricity charges for unused and abandoned borewells, according to the Coimbatore Consumer Cause.
“Most of the borewells are having 10 kw (average) connection and many are with much higher capacity. For instance, the borewell at Bagathur village in Mettupalayam taluk is as high as 35 kw and Rs 4,200 is being paid as fixed charges even though it remains unused,” said K Kathirmathiyon, secretary of the Coimbatore Consumer Cause, in a statement on Monday.
In Coimbatore district alone, there are nearly 3,396 unused borewells. For them, a total sum of Rs 28 lakh is paid by all the local bodies put together per bimonthly bill without even 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 a single unit, the CCC claimed.
A large number of borewells are not in use for 12 years and more since 2007, from when the data is available with Tangedco after the department was computerised. Hence, many of the borewells might not have been in use even much before.
A similar situation must be prevalent in all the local bodies across the state. “Even with a conservative estimate, Rs3 crore must have been paid to Tangedco as electricity charges for the unused power to borewells for every two months. And the government must have paid several hundred crores so far,” he said.
The Coimbatore Consumer Cause said that though the money goes from one arm of the government to another, it is gross mismanagement of finance. Hence, it urged the Chief Secretary to take appropriate steps to ensure stoppage of avoidable expenses by surrendering the EB connections for abandoned borewells.