The Karnataka Coastal Ice Plant and Cold Storage Owners' Association has urged the State government to increase the subsidy on power to ice plants.

Association president Rajendra Suvarna told presspersons here on Monday that the recent increase in power tariff from Rs. 4.60 to Rs. 4.90 a unit had hit the ice plants hard. There were 183 ice plants in the coastal belt from Karwar in Uttara Kannada to Ullal in Dakshina Kannada, including 75 on the coastal belt of Udupi district.

These ice plants supplied ice only to fishermen. If the ice plants increased the price of ice, it would affect fishermen.

A 10-tonne ice plant consumed 30,000 units of power a month. The 30 paisa increase in power tariff would increase the cost of production by Rs. 10,000 a month, he said.

A small ice plant consumed 3 lakh units to 3.5 lakh units of power annually while a big ice plant consumed 15 to 20 lakh units.

The government gave a subsidy of Re. 1 per unit for only two lakh units of power per plant.

The government should increase this subsidy to Rs. 1.50 a unit, he said.

Power tariff in the State was nearly 35 per cent more than that of Goa and Kerala.

The rate of power per unit was Rs. 3.25 in Goa and Rs. 2.95 per unit in Kerala.

This had affected the ice plants in border areas as they now had to compete with ice plants from other States offering ice at a cheaper price.

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