According to reports, starting from Tuesday, high-tension (HT) industrial units and commercial establishments, together numbering 5,585 connections, will have 20 per cent power cut for 20 hours in a day.
During peak hours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.), the quantum of power cut will be 90 per cent.
An official release issued on Monday stated that as there should be no load-shedding for domestic consumers, the government decided to impose such peak hour restrictions.
By resorting to 20 per cent power cut for the HT industry and commercial establishments during non-peak hours, around 400 MW of power may be available for the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation to supply it to the domestic category and others.
Between the middle of August and September end, the industrial units and commercial establishments got relief totally from the power cut during non-peak hours, thanks to the favourable southwest monsoon and the availability of wind power. This relief was provided to them for the first time in five years, the release stated.
Till August 14, they had 40 per cent power cut during non-peak hours. However, for the last one and a half months, they had a similar quantum of power cut during the peak hours.
When the government decided to lift the power cut for non-peak hours, it conveyed to the consumers that the move was only up to the end of September. To the surprise of power managers, the withdrawal of the cut did not result in any steep rise in demand.
As the southwest monsoon will come to a close in a few weeks, its beneficial impact will also start declining now. The authorities had a taste of this scenario even a month ago when there was a sudden fall in wind energy and load-shedding had to be resorted to in the last week of August.
Monday’s announcement follows a decision taken at a meeting five days ago that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had with senior Ministers and officials to review the power supply position.
Even though the cushion provided by wind energy will soon become unavailable, the authorities have taken into account the commencement of generation by several new coal-fired thermal power projects, comfortable storage in hydel reservoirs and the likely favourable northeast monsoon.