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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

CBE Industries against Power Holiday

Coimbatore, Dec. 30 Industries in Coimbatore have planned to flood the Government and the State electricity board (TNEB) with telegrams asking them not to go ahead with the plan to enforce two-days-a-week power holiday but to resort to reduction in power cut to save the industries that were already reeling under the impact of severe power shortage and demand recession.

There are also indications that the industries might approach the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) against the decision of the Government since it is TNERC that has the authority to take a decision on such issues and if necessary, the industries may also seek judicial intervention.

Major industry associations in Coimbatore and large HT consumers have been called to attend a meeting at Coimbatore today evening by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Coimbatore, to discuss the issue and consider steps to be taken in case the TNEB notifies its decision on power holiday likely to take effect from January 1.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Mahendra Ramdas, President, ICCI, said due to TNEB’s proposal to enforce power holiday and four hours power stoppage every day, the industries would not be able to get a reduction in Maximum Demand (MD) charges now available to them due to the power cut being enforced officially.

It is feared that the quantum of power available to the LTCT and LT consumers would also come down sharply and the proposed system would only aggravate the difficulties faced by the industries due to recession.

He said the industries in Coimbatore would consider various options available including appealing to the TNERC for a reconsideration of the TNEB’s decision on imposing a power holiday which would have to be borne by the industry in addition to the four hour peak hour restriction on drawal of grid power, making the cumulative impact of the power holiday very severe.

Replying to a question on what options the industries would consider, he said the members of the ICCI and other industry associations would send telegrams today to the Chief Minister and Electricity Minister and the TNEB officials urging them to drop the proposal for power holiday, which would have a crippling impact on the industry. Instead the board should come out with a reduction in power cut.

Mr Ramdas said the associations, if need be, also would seek judicial intervention. A meeting of the industry associations and large HT consumers has been called at Coimbatore this evening to take stock of the situation arising out of Government’s plan to enforce power holiday and consider the possible responses to any such decision.

Mr K. Elango, President, Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (Codissia), said very little time was given to the industrialists who attended the meeting to discuss the power situation at Chennai on Monday with their members and come out with their views. He said a lot of details have to be gone through before the industries could firm up their opinion.

He said a major question was how the decision on power holiday would be implemented and how it would be enforced to ensure compliance. Another major problem was how industries that were sourcing power from private power producers to meet the shortfall in grid supply would be able to cope with the new situation. At present, because of the 40 per cent power cut and the 4 hour peak hour power shutdown and two hour load shedding, the industries were able to assess the deficit in power availability and are able to source additional power from private power producers to meet the shortfall.

But this may not be easy once the power holiday is introduced for two days a week and there could also be difficulties in sorting out the labour problems because of frequent changes in working days/holidays which would have an unsettling effect on running the industries. He said it was the TNERC which has the authority to take decision on such policy issues and hinted the industries would appeal to TNERC once an announcement on power holiday is made.

Mr J. James, Coimbatore District President, Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Enterprises (TACT), feared that the new plan would have a crippling impact even on the barely surviving micro and small enterprises and wanted the power cut to be scrapped. Appeals have been sent to the Chief Minister and Electricity Minister in this regard.

Source : BL

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