R. Vimal Kumar
Tirupur: About three lakh textile workers in Tirupur are a worried lot as the units have started cutting down production owing to an increase in loadshedding hours over the last few months.
Industry sources told The Hindu that the pay packets of piece rate workers had already become thinner during the period and if the power crisis persists, the entrepreneurs would be forced to retrench employees.
The hosiery units were reported to have registered production losses up to 30 per cent since the five-hour load shedding was introduced a couple of months ago.
The president of the South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Mohan P. Kandasamy, said that with the load shedding hours being increased recently production losses were bound to go up further. The new load shedding schedule introduced a few days ago forces the High Tension (HT) units to go without power for nine-and-a half hours and Low Tension (LT) consumers for six-and-a-half hours.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) sources said that about 200 industrial units, including textiles, fell under the HT category within the Tirupur circle.
The peak power consumption from the grid in Tirupur circle during normal supply days stood at 270 MW.
A senior TNEB official pointed out that with demand for electric power to increase and no power generation project to be commissioned shortly in the State, the industry here would have to reel under power crisis for at least another two years.
“Probably, a good North-East monsoon can ease the situation for a short period since more water can be utilised for hydro power generation after the need for agriculture from dams will come down significantly,” the official said.