Chennai, Aug 31: Even as political parties were engaged in statement wars over the power shortage in the state, the acute power crisis has forced the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to announce increased loadshedding, ranging from 90 minutes to five hours, in a day.
Effective from tomorrow, the power cuts in Chennai city would be for 90 minutes from the present one hour, while it would be three hours in Chennai suburbs and five hours in rest of the state.
A TNEB release here said, ''taking into consideration the present power position, there would be interruption in Chennai and other places due to load shedding''.
It said the staggered load shedding for Chennai and suburbs would be implemented through 11 KV feeders. Electricity in the city would be cut for 90 minutes in the day.
People in the suburban areas would be without power for two hours during daytime and one hour in the night as per the time schedule for power cuts released by the TNEB for various areas in Chennai and suburbs.
''All consumers of high tension and low tension services should go off the TNEB grid power and utilise their captive generating sets during evening peak hours,'' the release said.
Appealing to the farmers not to use their pump sets from 1800 hrs to 2200 hrs, the TNEB also banned usage of equipment that would consume more power. Public were requested not to use neon or decorative lights.
For agricultural services, power supply would be for six hours in the day, as done presently.
The increase in power cuts has not gone well with the people, farmers and the political parties, especially those in the Opposition.
Though the government took pains to explain the prevailing situation and attributed the power shortage due to the non-production of hydel power following scanty rains, political party leaders were not willing to agree with this.
The PMK founder, Dr S Ramadoss, an acerbic critic of the ruling DMK more so after his party was chucked out of the DMK-led DPA, demanded the replacement of Electricity Minister Arcot Veerasamy to save the State from plunging into darkness.
Squarely blaming Mr Veerasamy for the crisis, Dr Ramadoss alleged that the Minister was not able to devote time for improving the situation.
AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa and DMDK Leader Vijaykanth also blamed Mr Veerasamy for the prevailing power position in the state.