M. Soundariya Preetha

Except for a short span in January, mills face four to five hours of power disruption a day

They seek weekly power holiday with uninterrupted supply on other days

COIMBATORE: As the summer sets in, industries here worry not so much about the scorching heat but unscheduled power shutdowns.

“We are worried. For the last four or five months we have been facing unplanned power disruptions and if this continues the units will turn sick,” says K.V. Srinivasan, chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association.

Except for a short span in January, the mills faced four to five hours of power supply disruption each day.

The government should announce a weekly “power holiday” and provide uninterrupted power on other days. This will help the units plan production, he says.

TNEB calls meeting

The government should also come out with a long-term plan to ensure power availability.

The association is considering tie-ups with merchant power plants. The textile mills across the State need 1,350 MW of power. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board held a meeting here with high-tension (HT) consumers on Tuesday. A TNEB official said the peak hour (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) demand was usually 30 to 40 per cent more than the normal day-time demand.

Many HT consumers have their own generators. The board has suggested them to use the generators at the peak hour to relieve pressure on grid power. But their main problem in using generators is the cost factor.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the government’s proposal to pay Rs. 7 a unit to those who supplied power to the grid from furnace oil-run generators.

Peak hour

Coimbatore Consumer Cause secretary K. Kathirmathiyon said the government should announce a power cut so that distribution of power could be planned.

It should also ban excessive illumination and decorative lights that consumed power generally at the peak hour. This will also bring down demand.

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