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Power shortage pushes Tiruchi industrial units to the brink

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IN DEEP TROUBLE: Industrialists at a discussion after floating the Tiruchi Circle High Tension Power Users’ Forum on Monday.
IN DEEP TROUBLE: Industrialists at a discussion after floating the Tiruchi Circle High Tension Power Users’ Forum on Monday.

Staff Reporter

They fear the joblessness will nullify the savings from load shedding

TIRUCHI: The power shortage has driven fabrication industries in the high tension category, the mainstream process partners of BHEL, to the grave situation of laying off thousands of workers.

They fear that the severity of joblessness that looms large will nullify the savings the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board aims to achieve through load shedding and peak hour restrictions. Precipitating their predicament in a challenging situation of filling the scaled-up orders of BHEL is the danger of equipment loss being caused by 40 per cent shortage in the supply.

To represent their grievances, high tension consumers, affiliated to industry organisations including the BHEL Small Industries Association (BHELSIA) and the Tamil Nadu Boilers and Components Manufacturers’ Association, floated the Tiruchi Circle High Tension Power Users’ Forum after holding discussions on the future course of action on Monday.

They charged the Forum with the task of seeking the Chief Minister’s urgent intervention to ease the situation.

Remedial measures

S. Sridharan, president, Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries’ Association, said the forum would impress upon the government the need for taking remedial measures to sustain the industrial process. In the current scenario, the industries not only suffered from higher power tariff and production loss but also had to grapple with the damage caused to the equipment by the drop in power supply.

The forum suggested that industrialists owning a group of production units be allowed to exercise the option of clubbing the rationed power and utilising it in full for the units of their choice at a specified point of time to reduce production loss; advance information on unannounced cuts be provided to safeguard equipment; the provision for lighting be enhanced from the present level of five per cent of overall consumption to 10 per cent; and the previous schedule of peak hour restriction (from 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.) be restored.

According to K.G. Muralidharan, BHELSIA president, and B. Pattabiraman, president, Tamil Nadu Boilers and Components Manufacturers’ Association, the government had to take remedial steps at this juncture to prevent closure of industries.

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