CHENNAI: The public hearing by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission on the tariff petitions filed by the Tangedco, Tantransco and SLDC in the city on Monday (August 22) turned out to be a challenging day for the Commission chairperson and its member.
Chairperson M Chandrasekhar and member K Venkatesan faced a barrage of accusations during the eight-hour-long public hearing. The commission would pass orders on the petition to hike electricity charges after hearing public views, written responses and stakeholders’ views.
Angered over the steep hike proposed by Tangedco, activists and consumers vented out their anger at the hearing, going beyond the five minutes allotted to each speaker. Whenever the secretary of the commission rang the bell to remind the speaker, it was met by some polite requests for additional time, while a few others reacted angrily.
Some were adamant and demanded that the commission hear their grievances in full. One activist even threatened that he and other consumers would not leave the venue if his queries did not meet with satisfying replies. “We will not let you go out,” he fumed.
In a lighter vein, one of the participants commented: “You two look like ‘ripened fruits’, and I know you will act fair while deciding on the petitions.” The chairperson and member finally had something to smile.
The meeting, which was supposed to end at 5.30 pm, concluded at 7.30 pm after the Tangedco and Tantransco officials replied to some serious charges.
— Jagannath G, Chennai