Hundreds of industrialists and employees observed a fast here in protest against prolonged power cuts.

President of Masters Printers’ Association A. Balasubramanian said that at least 30,000 employees in around 1,000 printing units, polythene manufacturing units and allied industry suffered due to power cuts experienced in the industrial town. “We face power cut for at least 12 to 14 hours a day. We do not get power for more than one hour at a stretch,” he said. The loss of production of these units was in the range of Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 15 crore a day, he said.

Stating that the polythene manufacturing units were the worst hit, he said that besides facing production loss, the units faced huge wastage of raw materials for frequent power cuts. “The power guzzling machinery required at least an hour for reaching the required temperature for production. However, immediately after touching the optimum temperature the power goes off and the raw materials go waste,” he said.

Since many of these printing, packing and polythene manufacturing units suffered loss of production, their allied units also suffered.

Stating that this being the peak season for production of diaries and calendars, Mr. Balasubramanian, said that orders were getting diverted to Chennai and other States because of the grim power situation.

The protestors demanded that the electricity board officials should schedule the power cut so as to ensure that the units got uninterrupted power supply for a minimum of six to seven hours a day. They also wanted the government to expedite the works in the power projects under implementation. Till such time the projects were over, the government should take measures to purchase power to meet the minimum demands of the State, he said.

A similar protest was staged in Aruppukottai where hundreds of people took part.

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