The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has decided to impose cyclical load-shedding for 30 minutes each during early morning hours and after-sunset hours in the State from Monday.

The KSEB took the decision following the sanction accorded to it by the Cabinet on Wednesday to take appropriate action to overcome the prevailing power crisis in the State.

The morning half-hour load-shedding will be between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the evening half-hour load-shedding between 6.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m.

Restrictions for industries

A top official of the KSEB told The Hindu that industries would not have power cut, but they would have to restrict their consumption of electricity to 80 per cent of their average recent consumption. The normal power tariff applicable for industries would be, from Monday, applicable only for 80 per cent of the normal consumption.

For any quantity of power consumed above the restricted level, the industries would have to pay at the rate at which the KSEB purchases power from the naphtha-based thermal power station of NTPC Ltd. at Kayamkulam. The rate now would come to more than Rs.11 a unit.

Mr. Chandy criticised banks for limiting the educational loan to students getting admissions under merit quota and charging high interest rates. The Central directive was that all students joining recognised institutions were eligible for loans up to Rs.4 lakh. The government would take up the matter with the banks.

The moratorium on loans taken by fishermen would be extended up to December this year. The scope of the risk fund set up to cover loans given by cooperatives would be extended to cover default resulting from death or disablement of the debtor. The risk cover would be Rs.1.5 lakh in case of death and Rs.75,000 in case of disablement.

The Urban Development Project would be extended by three years so that works proposed under the project could be completed.

The Industries Department would hand over about 30 acres in Palakkad district to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation for setting up a light engineering park.

The Cabinet congratulated S.P. Muraleedharan who had swam across Palk Strait (between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu) and decided to grant him Rs.5 lakh as a token of its appreciation.

Earlier the Cabinet entrusted a decision on imposing restrictions on power consumption in the State to the Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed and the State Electricity Board.

Briefing the media on the Cabinet decisions, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the Cabinet had discussed power shortage faced by the State. There was little scope for getting more power from the Central pool since other States were facing power shortages worse than Kerala. Yet the Centre was being helpful and Kerala would continue to get its current share from the Central pool. However, there would be problems if higher allocations are not received.

Mr. Chandy said that the Board had sought financial aid for purchase of power at higher cost and this would be conceded.

More In: Kerala | National