Under the revamped system, customers can apply online for new connections and also know the status of the application
The never-ending complaint of electricity users has been the delay in getting new connections. People constructing a house have always had problems getting new connections. Local officials of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) would cite some reason or the other for not giving new connections.
The common reasons are shortage of meters, non-availability of underground power cables and delay in getting permission for cutting the road.
As a step towards ease of doing business for customers, Tangedco has launched an automation and streamlining procedure to assign new services for both domestic (low tension) as well as industrial consumers (high tension) without much human intervention.
Encouraged by the success of the online payment system and in view of the complaints of corruption, the power utility has rolled out an online system to make the process of getting new service connections hassle-free for customers.
A senior official of Tangedco said that although it was launched last year before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become fully functional only from January this year. Customers can visit https://nsc.tnebltd.gov.in/ nsconline/ to apply for new connections.
The online system also has the facility to flag delays and provide feedback about the services rendered. Applicants can get details of the status of the application, time frame to get electricity connections (within 30 days as per the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission) and the guidelines to fill up the application forms, he added.
The official said completion certificate was not necessary for residential buildingsof up to 12 m in height not exceeding three dwelling units or 750 sq m.
For all other types of low-tension connections, the certificate is mandatory.
Consumer activist T. Sadagopan, while welcoming Tangedco’s latest customer-friendly initiative, said many were unaware of such a facility being available.
He rued that Tangedco had failed to conduct the quarterly voluntary consumer organisations meeting, which would be held at the office of every Superintendent Engineer.
Officials should take steps to create awareness of the availability of such a facility by issuing pamphlets, putting up display boards at the local electricity offices and sending messages on social media and through local residents welfare association groups.
Several consumer and social activists want to highlight the role of licensed electrical contractors in getting new connections.
The senior electricity official said this issue had been taken into consideration in the new system, under which the role of the licensed electricity contractor ended with giving the test certificate.
The senior electricity official said steps had been taken to implement the online system efficiently with review meetings being held every week.
The Chairman and Managing Director had been chairing a monthly meeting with all chief engineers and superintending engineers to prevent delays in giving new connections.