Industries in Coimbatore have decided to stop production on October 22 demanding official declaration of power cut in the State for all consumers.
This was the conclusion of a meeting held here on Friday in which 24 industrial associations, including those representing micro industries, textile mills, engineering units, foundries and small and medium-scale units, participated. Briefing presspersons, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, D. Balasundaram, said the industries were concerned over the management of the power shortage. With the new load shedding schedule, High Tension consumers went without power for nine-and-a-half hours a day and the Low Tension consumers suffered from six-and-a-half-hours of power disruption.
The other demands of the associations were equal distribution of the power shortage among all consumers in the State, covering all industrial consumers and enforcing it in all areas. The associations also sought a white paper on the power situation in the State.
Monitoring committees should be constituted in all circles with representatives of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and the consumers. The Government should implement the scheme to operate diesel generator sets for captive power generation and consumption.
It should ensure adequate supply of diesel for these generator sets. The associations also decided to organise a protest rally here on October 22. The Southern India Mills Association has appealed to the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to immediately announce the scheme to use the idle capacity of about 3,500 MW of High Speed Diesel Oil Generator sets with the industry on a need basis.
In a press release here, association chairman K.V. Srinivasan said this was the only solution for the power crisis that was affecting all sections of consumers in the State. Some of the main reasons for the acute power shortage in the State were spurt in industrial growth, increase in the domestic and free power consumption and uninterrupted power supply to multi-national companies.
Wind and hydel (HYDroELectric) power generation were seasonal and would not provide a permanent solution. With the entire country facing power shortage, the State would not be able to source power from the Central Grid or from other States or independent power producers.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was paying up to Rs. 15 a unit for purchase of power from the independent power producers. The Government should consider reimbursing the cost of generation using High Speed Diesel Oil that worked out to just Rs. 11 a unit for the present fuel cost, he said. Manikam Ramaswami, Chairman, CII, Tamil Nadu State Council, said the Tamil Nadu Government would need to quickly evolve medium term solutions to tide over the present power crisis.