Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday indicated that the power supply position in the State was expected to improve by May end when the power generation would go up on account of wind energy.

Acknowledging that there was indeed power shortage, the Chief Minister, in a statement, said that against the State's requirement of 10,500 megawatt (MW) to 10,800 MW, the Electricity Board was able to meet the demand up to 9,800 MW. Two thousand MW of power was being purchased from the open market.

He criticised the Opposition parties for blowing the problem out of proportion.

Mr. Karunanidhi, who held a meeting with Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami, former president of the State council of the Confederation of Indian Industry C.K. Ranganathan and senior government officials to review the position, said the government had been doing its best to tackle the present problem.

The neighbouring States too were hit by the problem. “A maximum of 4,800 MW can be transmitted from northern States to Tamil Nadu. As of now, we are utilising the maximum quantum,” the Chief Minister said.

Since the assumption of office in 2006, the government was taking steps to increase generation. However, it would take a few years to fructify.

In Chennai and suburbs, there was no power cut for the domestic segment of consumers, low-tension small and micro enterprises and commercial establishments. They were being provided supply for 24 hours. In other parts of the State, the supply was for 21 hours and by rotation, load shedding was being resorted to for three hours.

For farm operations, the three-phase supply (enabling agriculturists to operate pump sets) was being effected for six hours during day and three hours during night. Alluding to 30 per cent power cut on base demand for high-tension industrial and commercial services, he said the supply was given to these consumers to the extent of 70 per cent.

Giving the status of the supply situation in other States such as Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the Chief Minister said that load shedding was being resorted to for two hours in Hyderabad; four hours in other cities and four hours to eight hours in villages. Industrial units in Andhra Pradesh were given the supply for four days a week. The duration of supply for farmers was seven hours a day. Barring Mumbai, the supply in other parts of Maharashtra was only for 14 hours a day. The supply for farmers lasted eight hours. In Karnataka, industries were getting the supply for 20 hours and farmers six hours. In Bangalore, the supply [to domestic consumers] was for 22 hours; other cities, 20 hours and in villages, 12 hours.

Conceding that people did experience hardship at times, Mr. Karunanidhi added that while reviewing the situation with the officials, he advised them to ensure restoration of the supply at the earliest possible time. He appealed to the public to extend cooperation with the government.