When Tamil Chauvinism fails


One of the biggest claims of Tamil Nadu in terms of attracting investment into the state has been its status as a power surplus state. That, is no longer the case,

Veerasamy attributed the shortfall to drop in power generation through windmills to the tune of 1,500 MW, non-availability of 500 MW from the central government’s utilities, and the supply of 500 MW from the Neyveli Lignite Corporation due to heavy rains disrupting power generation.

While the state government has sought the central government’s help to allocate 500 MW from the ‘unallocated’ share of the central pool till May 2008 to tide over the crisis, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has initiated negotiations with Assam and Haryana to procure 300 MW. The state government is expected to finalise the agreements for the same by this month end, Veerasamy said.

The state’s present generation capacity is about 7,500 MW and the demand varies between 8,000 MW and 8,500 MW.Over the last ten years, demand has increased by 4,000 MW while capacity addition was just about 531 MW. With investments pouring into the state, the demand for power is going up by 600-700 MW every year, he said.

A study that benchmarks the performance of governments in terms of parameters that aid economic activity and the consequent (or unrelated, as the case may be) shifts in specific caste vote banks, over the past 40 years, will be interesting. For example, one of the biggest voting blocks in the state, the Nadars, have transformed themselves into a trading community in the past 50 years. They have also shifted allegiance several times between the two Dravidian parties.

Then, we will write a column for the Mint.

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