According to reports, it was a black Vinayaka Chathurthi in Coimbatore with the city witnessing more than 12 hours of power outages on Wednesday and Thursday. In one of the worst power cuts in recent history, the outages extended into the night.
The outages started at 4 a.m. on Wednesday and went on until 1 a.m. on Thursday. People faced cuts in bursts of two to three hours. Officials attributed the outages to a sudden dip in wind energy production.
A Thangavel, Chief Engineer of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, Coimbatore region, said that the state faced a shortage of 5,000 MW, as the wind energy generation was almost reduced to zero. The power cuts were inevitable, else the grid may have collapsed, he said.
As per the data available in Tamil Nadu transmission corporation website on Wednesday morning wind energy production was just 191mw as against 1236mw on September 16. The peak hour production was just 56mw.
According to a senior TANGEDCO official, the power cuts will prevail in the coming days as the wind may reduce further. The only hope is the rains during the northeast monsoon. The rains will reduce the load from agriculture and help generate more hydro power, he said.
If the situation continues it will not be a surprise if people come on to the road, says N Hariharan, a resident of Kovaipudur. The heat is just too much to bear when inside, he said. Children are suffering the most due to the power cuts. Quarterly exams are going on and the power cuts have made things difficult for them, he added.
The situation is still worse in the villages, where the power cuts run more than 12 hours, said P Gobi, residing in Madhampatti village. He said there was no use even if one has an UPS because there was not enough power to recharge the battery.
People in the village sleep outside so they get fresh, cool air, but the mosquitoes are still a problem, he noted. “We expected the situation to improve with the functioning of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, but works have come to a standstill with protestors strongly condemning the project,” he added.
Meanwhile, industrial units are demanding uniform power cuts across the state. J James, president, Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises, said the power cuts have cost industries to run into losses. While Chennai is given concessions, other parts of the state suffer long outages, he added. If the government fails to improve the situation the association has planned to organise a series of protests demanding relief to micro industries suffering from the outages.