The State government has to shoulder Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's (TNEB) accumulated losses of about INR40,000 crore, as it struggles to solve the power crisis staring it in the face. Farmers in Tiruchirapalli and industrial workers in Coimbatore have protested the absence of reliable power in the State, reports The Economic Times.
The State’s installed power generation capacity is about 10,000 megawatt (MW) but peak hour electricity shortage is above 15%, says a second article in The Economic Times. Industrial units complain that they receive power for only 48 hours, in a 168-hour work week.
Power cuts have also pushed up the cost of manufacturing cars – by nearly INR2,000 per car -- in the Chennai auto cluster. Tamil Nadu badly needs more power and the revived 1,600 MW Udangudi power project could provide a ray of hope, in the future. Funding large projects at the moment will be difficult -- TNEB's losses are more than double the State's fiscal deficit. Tariff revisions, restructuring of loans, or grants from the Union government could help the State.