Shortage of digital electricity meters has affected new houses in getting individual power connections. While Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) has allowed procurement of digital meters from private dealers, the developers have expressed concern over the delay in handing over units on time.
A developer based in the suburbs said there has been a shortage in meters over the last two months. “This is for the first time we are facing such an issue in more than a decade. We have been assured by TANGEDCO that the shortage of digital meters would be resolved in 10 days, but if it prolongs there could be severe impact regarding on-time delivery of houses,” he said. Except for a few cases, residential power connections is part of the agreement between the developer and the buyer. Buyers occupy the new units only after power connections are offered. As per the procedure, TANGEDCO installs digital meters after providing power supply.
Thamil Selvan, president of flat promoters association Chennai South, said the issue of non-availability of digital meters is an added problem in the construction sector. “Already, there are problems like the spike in cement prices and a limited supply of quality M-Sand,” he said.
The Chennai chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) has estimated that about 500 units could not be delivered due to non-availability. “The delay in handing over apartment units due to a shortage is two months. After we took up the issue with TANGEDCO, an order has been issued to procure meters from private firms,” CREDAI Chennai vice president S Sridharan said. But the meters have to be tested by government authorities ahead of installation. “Purchasing from private firms and getting them tested by the government is a new practice,” he added.
A senior state government official said Tangedco did not place the order for new digital meters within the timeframe. “Testing at the Central Power Research Institute takes a long time. We have now allowed people to buy from empanelled vendors on certain conditions,” Tangedco official said.