Monday was the inaugural day of increased duration of load shedding for domestic consumers in Chennai and suburban areas. It was also a day of relief to some extent for those in other parts of the State.

Reports from Tiruchi and Mannargudi in the central parts of the State indicate that the duration of load shedding was less during day compared to the situation till now.

During 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the duration was generally six hours in two spells. But, on Monday, it was only two hours in Tiruchi and four hours in Mannargudi. For the residents of Tiruchi, even on Sunday, they had only two-hour load shedding.

Officials in the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) in Tiruchi said that though they were yet to notify the schedule in the region, the four-hour load shedding for domestic consumers would be enforced in two spells of two-hour duration each.

In Coimbatore and Madurai, the duration varied from area to area. In some areas, it was three and a half hours or four hours, while in some others, it was as high as five hours. But, the bottom line was that there was some relief to the domestic consumers in these cities.

However, in Vellore, the six-hour load shedding continued in some areas.

In Chennai, the two-hour load shedding was effected as planned. P. Devaki, a housewife of Purasawalkam, said she would have no problem so long as there was no unscheduled supply disruption.

The residents of Thiruninravur, on the western outskirts of the city, were surprised when they experienced six hours of power cut, though what was announced was for only two–hours.

Commenting on the day's supply position, P. Sitaraman, founder-president of Plastic Manufacturers' Association of Madurai (PLASMA) and V.S. Manimaran, Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA), welcomed the new system of load shedding.

As regards the supply to farmers, a senior TANGEDCO official in Tiruchi said there was no change in the existing schedule of three-phase supply of six hours in two spells of three hours each during the day and night.

T. Natarajan, Chief Engineer (Vellore Region) hoped that the relief that may be obtained from the increased load shedding for domestic consumers and the power holiday scheme would eventually be beneficial to the farm sector.

(With inputs from S. Ganesan in Tiruchi, M. Soundariya Preetha in Coimbatore, R. Sairam in Madurai, P.V.V. Murthi in Vellore and R. Srikanth in Chennai.)

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