With a huge dip in the hydel power generation, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday released Rs. 375 crore to purchase power during this distress period.

Whenever the monsoon failed, the hydel power generation of the TNEB stations would go down and the Chief Minister, during her previous regime, ordered investment of Rs. 125 crore during the years of bountiful rainfall as compensation in the form of treasury bonds. She had directed that the sum be returned to the TNEB for purchase of power during distress periods.

As the monsoon has failed this year, the total invested sum in treasury bonds works out to Rs. 375 crore and the Chief Minister has ordered that this money be released to the Tangedco (at the height of acute power crisis in the State), according to an official release.

Ms. Jayalalithaa also announced Rs. 352 crore as short-term loan towards setting up of co-generation plants in 10 cooperative and two public sector sugar mills in the State. Work was on for setting up co-generation plants, in association with TNEB in the sugar mills with financial assistance and loans from Power Finance Corporation, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and Sugar Development Fund.

As there was a delay in obtaining loans from Sugar Development Fund, the Chief Minister released Rs. 352 crore as a short-term loan to expedite the process. From the revenue by selling power to the TNEB, sugar mills could restructure and implement schemes to improve efficiency, the release said.

Vallur project

The first 500-megawatt (MW) unit of the Vallur thermal power project resumed production on Wednesday evening. An official said the production commenced again at 8 p.m. Though the unit was commissioned on November 29, it had to be shut down the next day due to technical snags. The State is to get 375 MW from the unit.