The BHEL Small Industries' Association (BHELSIA) has embarked on a plan of action to overcome shortage of power and labour, the main factors disrupting its momentum of growth spanning over two decades.

The BHELSIA has taken up the power shortage issue with the State government and has received an assurance that the power cut durations will be minimised and ideal timings will be fixed. The Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation has extended to BHELSIA members short-term loans for purchase of gensets for maintaining power supply at times of shutdown. As a long-term measure, the BHELSIA has planned to put up a 16 MW plant with second-hand equipment in a span of six to nine months, the association president Rajappa Rajkumar said.

As for labour shortage, the association has tied up with the Industrial Training Institutes. Last year, 700 persons were absorbed from it and other private institutions by BHELSIA units. This year, the association has plans to rope in 1,500 more. To retain the workforce, the industries are in the process of providing and improving canteen facilities, bringing more area under shed, and carrying out programmes under corporate social responsibility. Medical camps are being conducted and safety classes imparted to contractors and workers. Safety equipment was being provided to industry workers at subsidised costs in association with the State Bank of India, Mr.Rajappa Rajkumar said.

To address the issues of insecurity among business partners due to these factors and cost escalation caused by delay in collection of products after completion, the BHELSIA has suggested formation of a joint committee with BHEL for refining systems and procedures for creating a win-win situation.

And to improve its output under ACF (Away Centre Fabrication) model, whereby industries supply components fabricated with their own raw materials to BHEL, the BHELSIA is in the process of procuring 100 acres for starting a private industrial estate with 20 units with large capacities. The proposal has been cleared by the Executive Director of BHEL, Tiruchi, A.V.Krishnan. Further, to eliminate bulk material handling in BHEL, starting of outlets at Thuvakkudi and Mathur could be explored with bank funding, the BHELSIA has suggested.

A Rs.104 crore proposal submitted by the BHELSIA to the Central government for establishment of common facility centres has been cleared with Rs.60 crore as subsidy. The association has already received Rs.17 crore. Common facilities for short-blasting, heavy machining, and heat treatment would be put up in Thuvakkudi and Siruganur, Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar said, expressing confidence that with these initiatives in place, the BHELSIA will be able to improve its output considerably in the coming years.

Keywords: load sheddingBHEL