K.M. Dayashankar

Many units closed; weavers rendered jobless

There are 30,000 powerlooms in Sircilla town

State urged to exempt Sircilla from power cuts

KARIMNAGAR: Crisis looms large in Sircilla town, the Sholapur of Andhra Pradesh, due closure of powerlooms on account of frequent power cuts and increase in yarn costs, according to local Powerloom Weavers’ Association. The situation has led to many powerloom weavers committing suicide after being rendered jobless.

Hike in yarn price

Sircilla town has the highest number of powerlooms (30,000), including 22,000 polyester looms and 8,000 cotton producing powerlooms. The cost of polyester yarn has increased from Rs. 82 per kg to Rs. 106 per kg forcing several owners to close their units.On Monday, a powerloom weaver D. Vishwanatham of BY Nagar committed suicide by hanging himself to the ceiling in his house due to loss of employment and increasing debts.Says Samala Mallesham, president of the Powerloom Workers’ Association, affiliated to the AITUC, that in the last one month, three weavers had committed suicide because of unemployment and increasing debts following the closure of powerlooms. “There is despair all around in Sircilla with a majority of powerlooms closing down and resulting in weavers committing suicide,” he said.

He urged the district administration to intervene and avoid a major crisis in the future by providing at least uninterrupted power supply to the powerloom sector. He urged the government to remove Sircilla from the purview of power cuts in the interests of the powerloom weavers.

Following the closure of majority of powerlooms, fabric production had come down from 18 lakh metres per day to 4 lakh metres per day. The allied industries such as 150 dyeing units were also closed.

Srinivas, a powerloom weaver, said that his weekly income had come down from Rs. 700 to Rs. 250 because of eight to 10 hours of power cut. The trade union leaders were gearing up to intensify their agitation demanding necessary measures to stop suicides by powerloom weavers by providing them assured uninterrupted power supply.