Thousands working in small units in the city have been deprived of jobs

Several thousand workers engaged in small-scale industries in industrial estates at Autonagar and other places in the city have been rendered jobless due to continuous spell of power holidays imposed by the State government.

With the managements regularly imposing cut in production due to highly unreliable power supply, many are deprived of jobs in various units. Before the regular power holidays were introduced, most of the workers used to lead a happy life with regular income as well as overtime earnings.

In Autonagar (Gajuwaka) alone, which is spread over 1,000 acres, 15,000 workers are dependent on livelihood in around 600 units. Pedagantyada Autonagar has 100 to 120 units and Parawada 15 to 20 units. The Madhavadhara Industrial Estate engages several hundred workers.

The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited has re-launched three-day power holiday per week for the industries from Wednesday. Several ancillary units are dependent on Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Hindustan Shipyard Limited and Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels for their survival.

Cut in production

Owing to problem with regard to availability of power, they are not able to deliver the material on time forcing the managements to impose penalty on them.

Already, the units have cut their production by 40 per cent. This has led to steep increase in production cost. “Forget about margins, we are finding it difficult to meet the overhead costs,” pointed out Ramakrishna Narappareddy, president, Visakha Autonagar Small-Scale Industrialists’ Welfare Association. He told The Hindu that imposition of power holidays had become a regular feature for the past one year making their future uncertain. “We are sorry that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy himself has failed to keep his promise of regular power supply to small-scale units,” he regretted.

The small-scale entrepreneurs have already represented to the government to help them tide over the crisis by buying generators and diesel to run them with subsidy.

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