Fact Check: The temples in Tamil Nadu have to pay more for electricity than churches or mosques.
On June 23, 2022, Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and the Chairman of Manipal Global Education, shared an image on Twitter claiming that temples in Tamil Nadu are paying more for electricity than mosques and churches. The viral post claims temples are charged at ₹8 per unit, whereas mosques and churches are charged at ₹2.85 per unit. However, the claim is baseless.
We came across the list of the latest revised tariff rates on the website of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO). The same had ‘Actual Places of Public Worship’ mentioned under the one category. However, there are two categories of electricity supply voltage: high tension voltage and low-tension voltage.
The tariff for a place of worship with a high-tension supply is ₹6.35 per unit, and the minimum monthly cost for electricity is ₹350 per kilo-volt-ampere. A place of public worship with a low-tension supply and consumption of 0 to 120 units is charged ₹2.85 per unit. The religious sites with consumption above 120 units must pay ₹5.75 per unit. These rates were last revised in 2017.
On April 1, 2021, Tamil Nadu Electricity Ombudsman stated that government officials are not permitted to change the electricity tariff for a place of worship based on caste or societal differences, The Hindu reported. “The Tamil Nadu Generation and The distribution Department have made no special concessions for Hindu temples or other places of worship based on the type of land on which they are built or societal differences.”
The cost of electricity of all places of worship in Tamil Nadu are based on supply type, not religion. Thus, we are marking this claim as false.