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40% power shortage drives textile industry towards closure – SIMA

Oct '08
The textile industry in Tamil Nadu has been passing through unprecedented crisis due to acute power shortage for the last eleven months, though there was some relief during peak wind season.

The major reasons attributed to such a severe shortage are sudden spurt in industrial growth, sizable increase in the domestic / free power consumption, uninterrupted power supply to power intensive multi-national companies as per the MoUs signed by the government, unequal distribution of power shortage, poor implementation of any voluntary system of scheduled power shut downs, etc.

The announcement made by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) on October 8, 2008 instructing the industrial units not to draw power during the evening peak hours between 6 pm and 10 pm with a warning of disconnection in case of violation on the part of industrial units, apart from 5 to 8 hours scheduled / unscheduled load shedding, has come as a rude shock to the textile industry which is already reeling under severe recession and incurring huge cash losses.

In a Press Release issued here today, Dr K V Srinivasan, Chairman, The Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) has pleaded to the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to immediately announce a scheme to utilize the idle capacity of around 3500 MW High Speed Diesel Oil generators available with the industrial units by reimbursing the cost of generation and prevent the textile industry from total closure.

Dr Srinivasan has pointed out that the textile industry accounts for 1/3rd of the textile size and 50% of the spinning capacity in the country, providing jobs for over 10 million people directly and indirectly and fetching foreign exchange to the tune of Rs.30,000 crores.

SIMA Chief has further pointed out that the only option available before the Government to over come the power crisis affecting all sections of consumers in the State for the next three or four years is to utilize the idle capacity of captive power generators available with the industrial units on a need basis.

Dr Srinivasan has highlighted that wind and hydel power generations are only seasonal in nature and therefore would never be able to solve the problem. He has further said that since the entire country is facing power shortage problem, Tamil Nadu will not be in a position to source power either from the Central Grid or from other States or independent power producers.

Dr K V Srinivasan has brought to the attention of the Hon'ble Chief Minister on the fact that while the TNEB is already paying upto Rs.15/- per unit for purchase of power from independent power producers, he has strongly felt that the government could very well consider reimbursing the cost of generation using HSD oil which works out to only Rs.11/- per unit for the present fuel cost. He has added that the industry has not been demanding any subsidy or concession from the Government, but only to supply uninterrupted power to enable the industry to survive and compete in the global market.

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