“TNEB forced to impose restrictive measures to limit demand”

The State government on Thursday attributed the problem of power shortage to reduced generation from the Neyveli expansion project, Kalpakkam and Kaiga atomic power stations and the delay in commissioning of the Kudankulam atomic power plant.

Citing the factors, Law Minister Durai Murugan, who moved the demands for grants to the Energy department in the Assembly on behalf of ailing Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami, said they were among the chief reasons responsible for the power shortage experienced during 2009-2010. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) was forced to impose certain restrictive measures to limit the demand. Of 2,000 megawatt (MW) to 2,500 MW being procured from the market to meet the present deficit, 490 MW to 740 MW was purchased form captive power plants in the State.

Giving projections of power shortage from June 2010 to May 2011, he stated that the deficit would vary from 1,400 MW to 3,400 MW during peak hours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.); 1,700 MW to 3,600 MW during day (6 a.m. to 6 p.m) and 500 MW to 2,100 MW during off-peak hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

Former Electricity Minister R. Viswanathan (AIADMK) criticised the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government for neglecting power generation.

When Arul Anbarasu (Congress) blamed the Left for the present power shortage in view of the opposition to the civilian nuclear cooperation deal between India and United States, V. Sivapunniyam (Communist Party of India) and N. Nanmaran (CPI-Marxist) explained that their parties had opposed the deal in view of the implication of the Hyde Act of US on the deal and the adverse bearing on sovereignty of the nation.

P. Padmavathy (CPI) wanted to know the status of the TNEB's scheme of effecting power connections for homes on the day of submission of application forms. M.N. Kandasamy (Congress) suggested the use of solar energy for the Assembly-Secretariat complex and MLAs' hostel.