The southern districts have been hit by a series of unscheduled power cuts over the past few days with industrialists and residents complaining of over five hours of load shedding, more than double the scheduled duration of two hours.

M.R. Rajendran, president of Kappalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers' Association, told The Hindu here on Monday that between Wednesday and Saturday, the Estate faced five hours of power cuts spread across the day.

Apart from the scheduled cut between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., another power cut was done from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 6.30 p.m. On Sunday and Monday, the power supply position improved with the Industrial Estate facing three hours of power cuts in the mornings.

The officials had provided a warning ahead of the increase in power cuts to the Industrial Estate. However, he added, power cuts all through the day were causing severe damage to continuous process industries such as plastic and rubber plants in the Kappalur Industrial Estate, which was home to around 300 micro, small and medium enterprises employing 12,000 workers.

Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) president V. S. Manimaran said that this sudden increase in power cuts has hit the production cycle very hard. “Following requests from many of our association members, we are planning to give a representation to the power authorities urging them to address the issue expeditiously,” he said.

Maintenance works

When contacted, sources in the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) Madurai Region, said that simultaneous maintenance works at several power plants combined with a huge decline in wind power and increase in consumption were behind the increased power cuts.

The TANGEDCO Madurai Region comprised five southern districts of Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram.

According to a senior official, power production from wind mills have plummeted to just 10 MW recently. With the rains having stopped, use of pump sets by farmers had gone up, as has the use of power-intensive air-conditioners.

Two units at the Tuticorin Thermal Power Plant, which provides more than 1,000 MW to the State, were also offline in the last few days.

The official added the total loss of power from outages and maintenance works in various power plants in the State was 1,400 MW. All the problems were expected to be resolved in a few days.

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