Chennai: Once a power-starved Tamil Nadu is now a power surplus state. There will be no power cuts anywhere across the state, according to power minister P. Thangamani. “There will be no power cuts during this summer and we are ready to meet the usual speak summer demand of 16,000 megawatts,” P. Thangamani told reporters on Saturday.
Flagging off the mobile Gram Swaraj Abhiyan Scheme, under which subsidised LED bulbs will be sold to villagers, the minister said that the state was taking all steps to reduce power consumption and wastage by installing LED bulbs. The public in rural areas can avail a 9 watt LED bulb for Rs 50 and for urban households the bulb will be sold at Rs 70, the minister said. Under the scheme, 7.71 lakh bulbs will be sold and this will save 5.74 crore lakh units per year contributing to the save energy concept.
When a reporter pointed out that there were still frequent complaints of power outages in different parts of the state, the minister shot back, “That’s not at all true. There could some rare cases of a power failure because of the local transmitters failing. Such faults can be set right quickly if affected people called the 1912. There is also a 24x7 helpline phone functioning at my TNEB headquarters to address power cuts”, he said.
The Central government has planned the pan India Swaraj Abhiyan scheme for 17,000 poor villages, under which electricity supply and LPG connections are to be improved in a phased manner. In TN, the sale of subsidised bulbs will be taken up in 1,477 villages.
According to sources the cost of a 9 watt LED bulb works to Rs 80 to Rs 110 in the market and this the centre provides the power saving bulbs at a 50 percent subsidised rate.
It may be noted that in 2010, Tamil Nadu, particularly the western industrial belt comprising Coimbatore, Pollachi, Tiruppur and Salem suffered power outages for more than six hours on a daily basis inviting unrest among industries, however the situation started improving during the chief ministership of Jayalalithaa and in 2015, the state became power sufficient with occasional minor power cuts during summer.