TANGEDCO and TANTRANSCO are over staffed in many departments and the new management is finding it difficult to redeploy many of the workers as well as senior officials, including engineers, to other departments which are in need of people.
More than 89,000 workers are on the rolls of TANGEDCO and TANTRANSCO, and the salary and pension bill alone come to around ₹9,000 crore annually. This amount is more than what is spent to generate power from the thermal as well as hydro power units.
“In the IT wing of TANGEDCO, there are 129 engineers and hardly there is any work for all these engineers. Similarly, there are several departments in which the previous management allowed appointments without any need. This is one section which is causing the Discom to bleed financially,” said a senior official.
TANGEDCO losses are on the rise and in the last financial year (2020-21) the loss was around ₹17,000 crore.
“It is a historic record loss for TANGEDCO. The Discom does not have funds to pay for power generators and the salary bill is very high,” said the official.
In some departments, only 100 persons are needed but there are around 400 persons. “For example in the personnel department, there are more than 400 officials and the work in that department is only for 100 officials. If you think of deploying them in other departments, there is protest,” said the official.
Shifting workers from the TNEB headquarters in Chennai is another big headache for the management.
“The headquarters officials have a separate rule. If an official or worker will have to be shifted to a sub-station even within the city which is in need of engineers, it is not possible. They have a separate rule on transfer of officials from the headquarters,” said the official.
At a thermal plant, apart from engineers and other workers, there are 200 sweepers on TANGEDCO roll.
“The project wing has 70 engineers who are supposed to supervise the projects. But, several thermal projects are only in the pipeline and except with a capacity of 800MW in North Chennai, which is likely to be commissioned in August, all other projects are no way near commissioning,” said the official.
Unless the state government gives full power to the management, the situation with regard to excess workers in various departments will not change.
“For the financial situation to improve, we are taking several steps and one such step is to redeploy workers and make them work to their capacity. We are not asking the workers to go or take VRS but agree to be transferred to another department. We will speak to the unions and explain to them the financial situation in the coming day. We also need the state government’s support,” said the official.