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Tamil Nadu proposes two-day power holiday

December 30, 2008 03:05 IST
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Tamil Nadu is facing a shortage of 2,000-2,500 Mw. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has proposed a compulsory two-day power holiday for both heavy and light industries due to the ongoing power crisis in the state.


State electricity minister Arcot N Veerasamy, who met industry representatives on Monday, asked them to take up compulsory holidays for two days in a week.


It may be noted the government has already enforced an 8-hour compulsory power cut every day in the state.


Commenting on the decision, Manikam Ramaswami, chairman, CII - Tamil Nadu State Council, said though the state government proposed to reduce the power cut percentage from 40 to a lower percentage, it retains the peak hour stoppage and two hours load shedding. "We would like to reiterate a more equal exemption free distribution of power to the industry so that those who have already invested in Tamil Nadu do not suffer while catering to new or exempted category industry," he added.


The industry, especially HT including textiles, foundries, pump manufacturers, pharma and others, however, have objected to the two-day

power holiday. They feel that the power holiday would be counterproductive as many units have already bought a percentage of their requirements from independent power producers. Many have also set up partial captive power plants. "All of these will become idle during days when 100 per cent power is available and will not be sufficient to run during power holidays," Ramaswami said.


He urged the government to either extend the diesel subsidy for industry using captive power or any other scheme that the government sees as feasible to use idle capacity available to bridge the shortage.


K Purushothaman, Nasscom regional director, said they had accepted the proposal of the government and hoped that it happens on Saturday and Sunday. "The IT industry will have to source power from diesel and bio-mass which cost around Rs 7-7.50."


Tamil Nadu faced a shortage of around 1,000 Mw till mid-2008. With demand from both domestic and industrial users on the rise, the shortfall is now in the range of 2,000-2,500 Mw, according to reports.

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