More than a hundred small scale industrialists from Madurai and the southern districts staged a protest in Madurai on Monday demanding that the State Government provide equal power supply to all parts of the State including Chennai.

Representatives of more than 30 industry associations who spoke on the occasion warned the State Government of a serous escalation in their protests if the power crisis was not solved at the earliest.

They also spoke out strongly against the preferential treatment to the capital, which continues to face just an hour of load shedding even as the rest of the State was enduring between 16 and 18 hours of power cuts every day.

Several resolutions calling for an immediate resolution to the power crisis was passed during this protest, which was hosted by Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA). They include an immediate commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) besides the thermal power plants being built across Tamil Nadu.

With power lines being the hurdle to Tamil Nadu purchasing power from other States, the protestors called for utilising the entire power generation of Central power plants located in the State such as the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and the Madras Atomic Power Station located at Kalpakkam. The Centre could make up for this shortfall by buying power from other States.

Addressing the agitation, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA) President K.R. Thangaraj said that the taxes paid by the small scale industries had reduced by Rs. 30 crore per day in recent times because of the power crisis. Instead of the usual Rs. 75 crore, the Government was now getting around Rs. 45 crore.

“The State Government must take bold steps and declare 40 per cent power cut. This would help provide uninterrupted power,” he said.

Speaking earlier, MADTISSIA president V. S Manimaran said the high tension industries in Tamil Nadu had the capacity to generate 3,000 MW through their captive power plants. The Government should buy power from them even if the costs work out higher.