BHEL’s ancillaries hit by power shortage have their fingers crossed over the outcome of the district administration’s intervention for streamlining available supplies for improving productivity of the units that have been losing heavily on account of idle labour.

A saving grace is that the power position has been slightly better over the past few days, but the industries are worried about the certainty of the timings of power cut. Erratic supply has hit their productivity very hard, compelling them to incur further expenditure for installing diesel generators.

Last week, a majority of industries in the district did not function in protest against the erratic power supply by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). In a memorandum to the Collector Jayashree Muralidharan, a delegation of industrialists led the Vice-President of Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries’ Association (TANSTIA) Rajappa Rajkumar highlighted the travails experienced by industries due to unannounced power cuts, and sought uninterrupted supply for a minimum of five to six hours to industrial estates on rotation.

The grouse of BHEL Small Industries’ Association is that there is no level playing field as industries in Chennai experience power cut for only two hours a day whereas units elsewhere are unable to put their machineries even to 50 per cent utilization.

Production cost escalates as the ancillary industries generate power from diesel generators to fully utilise the available manpower as also retain customers, according to M. Srinivasan BHELSIA president.

Though prospect for a better power situation appear to be bright in the coming months, it would be advisable for vendor units to make long-term investment on diesel generators to make up for the inevitable power cuts, though of lesser durations, said Mr. Srinivasan, exuding hope that the ACF (Away Centre Fabrication) model that BHEL has been advocating could be turned to the advantage of vendors.

However, for now, the unenviable order position of BHEL is also a cause for worry for the vendor units, most of which are unable to meet the repayment schedules to banks. As things stand, ancillaries that do conversion with BHEL’s raw materials and those adopting ACF model put together will not be able to reach even 60 per cent of last year’s output, Mr. Srinivasan said.