Industries here are focusing on individual and joint efforts to get around the power cut problem, apart from the requests for uninterrupted power supply for eight hours a day and equal distribution of the power shortage.
Fearing that the industries will have to close down if the power situation does not improve, the units and industrial associations are looking at joint efforts to buy and operate generators or reducing the production capacity by selling some machinery.
In some instances, the unit owners have closed down operations joined bigger companies for work or have diversified to other businesses to improve their finances.
Be it the job working engineering units, coir industries, or the foundries, generators have become indispensable to many.
Three or four small-scale industries have got together, shifted their units to a common premises and have purchased a common generator, says R. Ramachandran, president of Coimbatore District Small Industries’ Association.
Those at the SIDCO Industrial Estate, Kurichi, have had discussions with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to convert the sub-station at the industrial estate into a dedicated station for the units at SIDCO.
“This will enable us to purchase power from other sources,” says M.V. Loganathan, secretary of Coimbatore SIDCO Industrial Estate Manufacturers’ Welfare Association.
Many units are on the verge of closure as they have lost orders to those in other States.
The SIDCO Industrial Estate at Kurichi has 200 units. Some have sold part of the machinery.
The association members get collateral free loan from the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC) for purchase of generators, he adds.
“We just came to know that two injection moulding units at Ganapathy shut shop after Deepavali and the unit owners have joined a company for work,” says S. Ravikumar, president of Coimbatore Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs’ Association.
More cottage industries are expected to close down.
Some units have started selling one or two lathes that they have, Mr. Ravikumar says.
At Pollachi, of the 150 coir pith making units, one third are said to have stopped operations because of the power problem.
These were earlier supplying to exporters.
Exports have declined by nearly 35 per cent during the last three months, says S. Mahesh Kumar, vice-chairman of the Federation of Indian Coir Exporters’ Association.
Though the small and medium-scale units have generators, production cost has gone up three times because of the use of generators.
The units in Kerala have the cost advantage.
In fact, some mattress companies have opened sales offices here now, he says.