An infographic titled ‘Electricity Charges for Religious Places in Tamil Nadu’ is being shared widely on social media with a claim that Temples are charged at Rs. 8/unit whereas Mosques and Churches are charged at Rs. 2.85/unit. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: The electricity charges in Tamil Nadu for Temples is Rs. 8/unit whereas the same for Mosques and Churches is Rs. 2.85/unit.
Fact: All the places of worship are charged the same tariff rate. It can be seen in various orders that there is no religious discrimination in the electricity tariff rate in Tamil Nadu. Also, the Tamil Nadu Electricity officials have clarified to FACTLY that the viral message is wrong. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When searched for the information on the ‘Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC)’ website, the details related to electricity tariff were found in an order released for the 2019-20 financial year. In the order, the term ‘Actual Places of Public Worship’ was mentioned and there was no separate mention of different religious places. For every two months, the places of public worship are charged a fixed amount of Rs. 120 and for every unit till 120 units, they are charged at Rs. 2.85/unit (actual – Rs. 5.75/unit and govt. subsidy – Rs. 2.90/unit). For electricity consumption beyond 120 units, the tariff is Rs. 5.75/unit (no subsidy). The details regarding the total amount of subsidy can be also seen in the TNERC order. They have estimated around Rs. 16.30 crore subsidy to the places of public worship for the year 2019-20.
The above-mentioned details are related to ‘Low Tension Supply’. If the places of public worship have ‘High Tension Supply’, then the tariff rates change. Those rates can also be seen on the ‘Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO)’ website. Also, when a request was made in 2006 to give concessions to some temples, an order was passed to give concessions to all the places of worship based on their income.
When FACTLY contacted Tamil Nadu electricity department, they have also clarified that the tariff is not different for different places of worship. They have also mentioned that the viral message is wrong.
To sum it up, the electricity charges are the same for any place of worship in Tamil Nadu.
Update (MARCH 05, 2021):
It has been brought to our notice that, in response to an RTI application, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has responded that, though Hindu temples registered under Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department are charged at the same rate as other religious places, Hindu temples which are not under HR&CE are charged at commercial rates. We at Factly have also filed an RTI with TANGEDCO seeking further information, and this article will be updated as and when we receive a relevant response.
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