‘BHEL’s power woes could impact commissioning of new plants’

: The Central and the State government should take urgent steps to overcome the severe shortage of power faced by small industries in Tamil Nadu, said T.K.Rangarajan, MP and Central Committee Member, Communist Party of India (Marxist), here on Thursday.

Over 400 ancillary units of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited around Tiruchi and other parts of the State have been hit hard by 40 per cent power cut amounting to an unprecedented load shedding for 14 hours a day.

BHEL, the public sector power plant equipment manufacturer, too has been affected and this could impact the commissioning of new power plants, he said addressing a press conference.

The ancillary units, which provide direct employment to about 15,000 persons and indirect employment to around 50,000, were unable to complete work orders and meet delivery schedules.

Mr.Rangarajan said he and other office bearers of the party and CITU had interacted with officials of BHEL and representatives of BHEL ancillary units here.

The ancillary units were being forced to spend as high as Rs.17 for each unit of power generated through diesel generators.

“The Union government that had promised power for all by 2012 should take the major part of the blame for the unprecedented situation that has affected lakhs of people. With all its powers the Centre has remained inactive and failed to rectify the crises faced by various States in the country,” he charged.

The Centre and the State government should take steps to expedite commissioning of Vallur Thermal Power Plant and other new power projects in Tamil Nadu to overcome the situation.

Five independent power producers in Tamil Nadu export power to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as per agreements signed by them.

The State government should take steps to get at least a portion of the power generated by them.

Answering a query, he said his party supported the commissioning of Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

At the same time, the apprehensions of the local people should be allayed by an independent authority.

Mr.Rangarajan also called upon the Union Finance Minister to hold talks with representatives of small scale industries, who have been demanding rescheduling of bank loans and reduction in interest rates in view of the power crisis, to provide them relief.

They should be extended soft loans. BHEL should also explore the possibility of putting up a 30 MW power plant to meet the requirements of the industry here, he said.

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