Absence of announcement irks residents in southern districts

: After a respite for a few days, the residents of Madurai and other southern districts once again face an unannounced increase of one hour in load shedding duration.

While an unofficial increase in load shedding hours was effected during the last two weeks of February, it was curbed since March 1. However, various parts of the city and southern districts saw three hours of load shedding besides several bouts of unscheduled power cuts on Tuesday and Wednesday

Residents voiced anger about the absence of any announcement from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) regarding the increase in load shedding duration.

Parents complained that the sudden increase in power cut during the pubic examination time was adversely affecting the preparation of students. While the higher secondary public examinations began on March 2 and would conclude till March 25, the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Matriculation public examinations commence on March 28 and 22 respectively.

A TANGEDCO official told The Hindu that sudden surge in power demand across the State was to blame for this increase. The official said that the demand in Madurai region alone increased from 990 megawatt during February to 1,100 megawatt at present. The region comprises five southern districts of Madurai, Dindigul, Sivaganga, Theni and Ramanathapuram.

While the Madurai region alone saw an increase of 110 MW, the State as a whole was likely to have experienced an increase of 1,000 MW, the official said. Lack of rains, which could depress power demand, or any support from wind mills were also factors as no relief was available to the TANGEDCO, the official added.