Chennai will have one hour of load shedding from Friday, while the duration of load shedding in other parts of the State will go up from two hours to three hours.
Announcing its decision, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), a subsidiary of the TNEB Limited, said that even though it had purchasing power to the tune of Rs. 50 crore a day, it was not in a position to tide over the shortage. “As a last resort, it has been decided to increase the present duration of load shedding from two hours to three hours for domestic consumers [in parts of the State other than Chennai]. In Chennai, where there was no load shedding till now, the decision is to enforce load shedding for one hour during day,” the TANGEDCO said.
The release added that the situation would improve in a few weeks once more power through windmills was available.
A senior Corporation official says that the relief that the authorities hope to gain through the revised system of load shedding is 1,400 megawatt, including 200 MW in Chennai. At present, the shortage is around 3,500 MW. The authorities are buying 2,000 MW on a temporary basis every day.
The move to change the scheme of load shedding follows the authorities' decision a few weeks ago to increase the quantum of power cut for industrial units and commercial establishments, drawing high tension (HT) power, from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.
The scheme of power cut for HT consumers has been in force since November 2008. Till May 2009, the quantum was 40 per cent. It was 30 per cent for about two weeks and later 20 per cent since June 2009. In March 2010, the quantum was hiked to 30 per cent and two months later, brought down to 20 per cent.
Besides, the peak-hour restrictions during evening (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) are in force for HT industrial establishments. Between November 2008 and August 2010, industrial consumers were allowed to draw only five per cent of their sanctioned quota. Since August 2010, the quantum was raised to 10 per cent.