In the run-up to the State assembly polls on April 6, the city witnessed sporadic power cuts during the night and several consumers across the city alleged that calls made to the fuse of call centres went unattended.
Amid the complaints, a surprise inspection by the chief engineer of the demand side management and CE of the Chennai North Region on April 2 found “no manpower assistance was provided by the contractor for the FOC at Cooks Road Substation and nobody was available at Kilpauk 33/110 KV SS FOC and the calls received from 1912 call centre were not properly entered.”
In the Chennai North Distribution Region, 54 FOC centres were outsourced to Peri Software Solutions (P) Ltd to provide manpower for three years for an amount of Rs 7.22 crore. “It clearly shows that none of the assistant engineers/assistant executive engineers, executive engineers of the Operation and Maintenance has inspected and reviewed the performance of FOC centres and the contractor so far. No notice has been issued to them by anybody regarding their lethargic attitude which in turns create a bad image of Tangedco among the public,” said a memo issued by the CE.
Pointing out that so many complaint calls were received against the FOC centres, the CE instructed the SEs to make a surprise inspection in the odd hours and to cross-check the functioning of FOC centres. “If FOC centres are not active, definitely it leads to the aggressive attitude of the public with Tangedco staff and officials,” it said, instructing officials to initiate stringent action against the private contractor and report the action within a week time.