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Tamil Nadu learns to live with power cuts

According to reports, for the last two days, Coimbatore and its suburbs have been severely hit by power crisis as most parts remained without power or with extreme voltage fluctuations throwing normal life out of gear for residents and industries.

Due to the frequent voltage fluctuation, the public have been forced to shut down their motor units, refrigerators and air-conditioners for the last couple of days, while industrial units have also been scurrying for more diesel.

Former president of Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association Jayakumar Ramdass lamented, “Our production has gone down and we have not been able to meet our commitments. Each day, around Rs 10 crore worth of opportunities are lost due to the power problem.”

Senior Tangedco officials here have attributed the shortage to many reasons including the ongoing strike by coal mine workers of Telangana.

“We normally get around 500-600 MW of power from Ramagundam and that has been hampered due to the political developments in AP. Besides, two units at the thermal power stations in Talcher, Orissa, are also malfunctioning causing an additional shortage of 1,000 MW,” he said.

With the close of the southwest monsoon, wind energy generation contributing about 1,500 MW to the state grid, has dwindled significantly, leading to the current crisis.

“We are trying to purchase about 1,000 MW power from the power exchange and have made several bids unsuccessfully,” a senior official said.

Since there is severe shortage of power in AP and Karnataka, the rate of power is so high that Tangedco has not been able to afford it. “But, we will make some alternative arrangement soon,” he promised.

Coimbatore needs 900 – 1,500 MW of electricity and a significant portion is derived from wind energy during the southwest monsoon. “As there is a sudden dip, we are forced to resort to random shutdowns,” the officials explained.

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