Two-day power holiday for TN industries from Jan 1

Written by Economy Bureau | chennai | Updated: Dec 30 2008, 07:01am hrs
Industries in Tamil Nadu have to go back to the five-day week working system and two-day power holiday from January 1, 2009, though the high tension (HT) consumers prefer daily supply with a reduction in quantum of power cut. The low tension (LT) consumers - small industries -welcomed the power holiday system, but they want lifting of the peak hour restriction on them.

Electricity minister, Arcot N Veerasamy, placed two options before the representatives of industries in the Industries Coordination meeting at the Secretariat here on Monday.

The first option was that of reduction in power cut from 40% to 30% for the HT industries and from 20% to 15% for LT consumers.

The second option was continuous power supply for five days, with the existing peak hour restriction in place.

The State will be divided into six zones and the two-day holiday would be rotated among the zones.

The representatives of the HT industries who participated in the meeting were not in a position to decide immediately and they sought time.

Majority of the members of the HT consumer industries and industry associations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) were for reduction in power cut rather than reverting to the old system of power holiday, which had proved to be a failure, Manikam Ramaswami, chairman CII -TN State Council, said.

However, industry sources said, before they could inform the minister about their opinion, the minister unilaterally announced the power holiday system much to the disappointment of the HT consumers.

K V Srinivasan, chairman , SIMA, told FE from Coimbatore that the textile industry would prefer to have 30% power cut as it is a continuous process industry. While thanking the electricity minister for considering the textile industrys plea for supplying uninterrupted power during night hours (from 10 pm to 6 am), he appealed to the minister to implement the TNERC recommendation on the usage of banked wind energy by the wind turbine operators in four equal instalments during January to April 2009.

The SIMA chief requested the government to consider the utilisation of the banked wind energy favourably as the textile industry has created over 75% of the wind mill capacity in the State. It also wants the two-hour power cut during the day time also to be stopped.

The industries coordination meeting was convened in the context of the availability of more power to spare as the domestic consumption has come down. Manufacturing industries want the government to make available any surplus power to the industries as and when available, even without convening short-notice meetings.

Ramaswami told FE that the system of exemption to select groups also was creating problem in the power management. Following the exemption for rice mills, wheat mills also have been exempted. Now cinema theatres are seeking exemption.

Such exemptions are reducing power availability to the manufacturing and continuous process industries, making them pay much more for the power they are forced to generate or purchase from other producers, he said.