Demanding a permanent solution to the prevailing power shortage, hundreds of industrialists led by the Vice-President (Tiruchi Region) of Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries' Association (TANSTIA) Rajappa Rajkumar took out a rally and presented a memorandum to the District Collector Mahesan Kasirajan on Thursday.

The Collector promised to forward their memorandum to the State Government. The over 300 vendor units of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) with a workforce of 16,000 were kept closed. Participants of the rally mostly belonging to BHEL Small Industries' Association (BHELSIA) wanted the industrial units that supply components for power equipment to be exempted from the power cut in the long-term interests of improving the power situation. Small industries that are the backbone for the country's economy should not be allowed to suffer, Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar, who is also the president of BHELSIA, said.

The industrialists wanted the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to implement the power cuts uniformly throughout the State, and urged the State Government to take immediate steps to install new power projects and strengthen the southern grid to tap surplus power from northern States. The memorandum also contained demands for making the situation conducive for more investments in wind mill in the State; payment of Rs. 10 per unit of electricity as subsidy for power generated from diesel generator sets; tax exemption for power produced through the generator sets; and active assistance by Central and State Governments to industrial bodies that intend to install captive power plants.

A delegation of industrialists also met the Chief Engineer of TANGEDCO, Tiruchi Region, N. Balakrishnan, with a request for re-scheduling the power cut timings such that industrial productivity is not hampered in Tiruchi, Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts where the vendor units of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) are located. Mr. Balakrishnan promised to do whatever was possible in the situation of constraints.

Keywords: power cut