Chennai, Jul 10: Opposition AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today said farm and industrial activities in Tamil Nadu were seriously hit, thanks to an unannounced power cut in the state.
In a statement here, she said several parts of the state were facing serious power crisis for the last three months following which, small industries sector alone had suffered a loss of Rs 50 crore.
In almost all districts, an unannounced eight-hour power cut was in vogue and this had seriously hit farm operations in the delta regions and other districts.
Even a month after the opening of the Mettur dam, water has not reached the tail-end areas and farmers, who had taken up Kuruvai cultivation, could not use pumpsets for irrigation in the absence of power.
Supply of drinking water was also hit in many areas as water could not be stored in overhead tanks due to power cut, she said.
In Coimbatore and Erode districts due to power cut, more than five lakh powerlooms had fallen silent, resulting in 40 per cent production loss. More than 15 lakh weavers were rendered jobless and the production loss was estimated to the tune of Rs three crore daily, she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said production in the knitwear industries also fell steeply as the imported machineries used in the industries became faulty due to frequent power failures. Production could not be resumed immediately as the industry owners had to seek the assistance of foreign firms to set right the faults, she said.
She said while 60 per cent of the people in the state depended on farm and farm-related industries, the remaining 40 per cent depended on industries, and the power cut has hit both the sectors.
Besides small and minor industries, those who were running Computer centres and the students community were also seriously affected by the power crisis, she said.
Accusing Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy of ''indulging in other activities,'' instead of concentrating on his portfolio, Ms Jayalalithaa wondered whether the state had a minister for power.
While Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was busy with his film projects, Mr Veerasamy was totally indifferent to the power shortage, she alleged and wanted them to take immediate steps to augment power generation.
The Chief Minister should take steps to secure Cauvery water from Karnataka at an appropriate time, she added.