Lack of power takes its toll on industrial activity

Many industries have started exploring opportunities in other States for expansion.

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:30 am IST

Published - September 22, 2012 09:30 am IST - COIMBATORE

Workers at a pump manufacturing unit in the city doing minor works when there is no power supply. Photo: M. Periasamy

Workers at a pump manufacturing unit in the city doing minor works when there is no power supply. Photo: M. Periasamy

The grim power situation has pushed the industries in the region into a position of being unable to capitalise on the opportunities in an improved market, run to full capacities and expand business.

Though many have gone in for generators, the high cost incurred for operating the generators for long hours is affecting the units.

An industry consultant says that while foundries in Belgaum and Rajkot are expanding and are able to capitalise on the export opportunities, those in Coimbatore are unable to run to full capacity because of power cut. A cotton trader from Punjab, who was here earlier this month to participate in a conference, told The Hindu that though Coimbatore was one of the major textile centres that purchased huge quantities of cotton from the northern States, during the last one year textile mills are coming up in large numbers in the north. Cotton consumption by the mills in the south has reduced because of power cut and it is viable to have mills near the cotton growing areas, he said.

Many industries have started exploring opportunities in other States for expansion. “When there is no power for 12 hours a day, workers are unable to operate on machinery continuously and the entire work culture is affected,” says R.R. Balasundaram, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore.

Textile mills here used to register average capacity utilisation of more than 90 per cent. Now, it is just 70 to 85 per cent, points out S. Dinakaran, chairman of Southern India Mills’ Association. Several small and medium-scale mills do not operate one shift. The Government should encourage industries to use the captive power plants. They should be able to find it viable to run these plants. This will help meet the shortage, he says.

Meanwhile, the Coimbatore Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs’ Association has said that it will organise a fast in Coimbatore on September 27 to stress its demand for uninterrupted power supply to micro units.

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