An infographic titled ‘Electricity Charges for Religious Places in Tamil Nadu’ is going viral 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.
A Twitter user named @Dix5a shared the viral image and tagged Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy in her tweet. Her tweet was retweeted over 1,400 times.
— DIXSA (@Dix5a) May 15, 2020
— शुभम् कुमार राजपूत (@Rajputshbhm1008) May 16, 2020
राज्य कैसे भेदभाव करता है और इस भेदभाव को धर्मनिरपेक्षता कहा जाता है!😏
Electricity charges for religious places in Tamil Nadu in secular India @Swamy39 https://t.co/bbwYNqOsPr
We searched on the Website of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO). The latest tariff schedule is found under Billing Status > Schedule of Tariff> Abstract of Tariff Schedule. The rates were last revised in 2017.
See the PDF here
According to the tariff schedule, there are two categories of the voltage of electricity supply: high tension (voltage of 11 kilo-volts or above and connected load over 112 kW) and low tension (voltage up to 415 volts and connected load up to 112 kW). Unlike in high tension supply, the tariff is calculated on a bi-monthly basis for low tension supply.
These are the three categories where the tariff schedule mentioned clearly:
1) II-A under high tension supply: The tariff for places of public worship is Rs 6.35/unit. In addition, a fixed monthly cost which is calculated as Rs 350/kilo-volt-ampere (kVA) irrespective of actual consumption.
2) II-C under low tension supply: Places of public worship that consume 0-120 units are charged at Rs 2.85/unit; those places of public worship that consume over 120 units have to pay Rs 5.75/unit. In addition, a fixed cost of Rs 120/kW is charged every two months irrespective of actual consumption.
3) V under low tension supply: The places of worship where public entry isn’t permitted or if they are built on an unauthorized land without the consent of revenue authority, they are charged under the commercial category. They have to pay Rs 5/unit if their consumption is below 100 units and Rs 8.05/unit if their consumption is above 100 units. In addition, a fixed cost of Rs 140/kW is charged every two months irrespective of actual consumption.
A similar claim was also made last year and it was debunked by the Tamil fact-checking website You Turn.
According to the report, the amount of electricity and tariffs offered are the same. However, there is a change in the state subsidy based on the power supply used in such places of worship.
The translation of the report archived here