As small units increase shifts following recent improvement in power supply

Thanks to the recent improvement in power position in the State, industries in Madurai and other southern districts have begun to increase their production capacity considerably.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday had announced the reduction of power cuts by one hour due to increased power production from wind mills. The scheme of power holiday for low-tension and high tension industrial establishments was also scrapped.

P. Sitaraman, founder-president and current executive committee member of Plastic Manufacturers Association of Madurai (PLASMA), told The Hindu here on Tuesday that small industries have increased their daily working shifts to three after a gap of more than one year.

Industrial units had restricted their production cycle to two shifts owing to the power crisis and high frequency of scheduled and unscheduled load shedding.

While Madurai district alone had around 50,000 small intuits, the southern districts of the State had around three to four lakh units predominately in the plastic, rubber and textile sectors, he added.

Schedule adhered to

M.R. Rajendran, president of Kappalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers' Association, where around 300 small units employing 12,000 workers are located, said that in last few days, the load shedding was by and large restricted to the scheduled duration of three hours.

However, he said that the scheduled load shedding was being implemented sometimes in the afternoon hours. He appealed to the power authorities to implement the scheduled load shedding either during 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. or from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Mr. Sitaraman said that the manufacturing sector was being badly battered not only in Tamil Nadu but across the country due to an adverse economic climate. Industries were seeing their capital getting eroded rapidly with plastic and textile sector hit hard. Hence, the industries needed some relief to tide over the tough times.

Relief soon

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) officials informed that power generation from wind mills was on the lower side during the afternoon hours, which was why industries were experiencing load shedding during the afternoon hours.

However, officials said that some relief could be expected very soon as the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant's first unit, which has a capacity of 1,000 MW, was expected to get commissioned very soon. Several other conventional power plants in the State were also expected to commence operations soon.

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