A decision to this effect was taken by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) soon after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa reviewed the power situation in the state at a high level meeting.
"The gap between demand and supply has increaed in the last few weeks, forcing (us) to increase the load—shedding all over Tamil Nadu except Chennai and its suburbs.
Now it has been decided to increase the load shedding in Chennai and its suburbs from existing one hour to two hours betweem 8 am and 6pm with effect from October 18, 2012 as there has been a vast variation in the duration of load—shedding between the city and other areas," TANGEDCO said in a release.
In June, officials had reduced the two—hour load—shedding to one hour following good wind power output that also helped in them managing the deficit to some levels. However, the wind power supply has also reportedly dwindled of late.
The demand—supply gap is said to have been to the tune of around 4000 mw, and the political parties including opposition DMK have been critical of the ruling AIADMK's promise of addressing the issue within months if voted to power.
However, even as a series of power generation projects are underway amidst the uncertainty over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant which will provide a little over 900 mw of electricity to Tamil Nadu, unscheduled power cuts ranging up to 16 hours have been reported from some parts of the state.
Irate and agitated citizens have been resorting to a series of protests, including lying outside sub—stations, laying siege to TANGEDCO offices, holding candle—light protests and staging road—blockade among others.
The industrial hub of Coimabtore is said to have taken a big beating with manufacturers complaining losses due to inability to run their units in the absence of adequate power.