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“Power situation comfortable”

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Arcot N. Veeraswami
Arcot N. Veeraswami

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Windmills in the State started functioning on Sunday, adding 1200 MW power to the system, and this has ensured there is no power shortage anywhere in the State, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami informed the Assembly on Monday.

“The strong winds were unexpected. They set in usually only by April 30. This time they have begun earlier. There has been no power cut since yesterday afternoon,” he said in reply to a question raised by the deputy leader of the Opposition O. Paneerselvam during zero hour.

Reading out a paper placed on the table of the House on exemption from payment of VAT on the sale of furnace oil for use in captive generators so that industrial units could produce additional power for their needs, Mr. Paneerselvam pointed out that the order clearly mentioned that the power situation in the State was grim. This was against the Electricity Minister’s contention that there was no power cut in the State and that the State had adequate power. He said the explanatory note quoted the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board chairman as saying that the State faced a shortfall of 800 MW and “it may go up to 1300 MW during the summer peak of 2008.” This was contrary to what the Minister had maintained in the House. It was a fact that the State faced massive power cuts.

Mr. Veeraswami replied that the order [GO Ms.No.25, Commercial Taxes and Registration (B2) Department, dated March 5, 2008] was issued in March. The notification issued under the Act was in force from February 15 to May 31.

The GO was issued long after he held discussions with industrialists and because they wanted it on paper. He was merely placing it in the Assembly now since it was not placed earlier.

Mr. Veeraswami said he had never said that the State had adequate power. There was a shortfall and this was being made good by purchasing power from other States, staggering holidays and encouraging captive generation in industrial units. Now, because of the unexpected wind power, the situation had improved. “I do not know about [how much power we can get from windmills] tomorrow. But there was no power cut since last night anywhere in the State,” he asserted.

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