Non-availability of stones for almost six months now has hit wet grinder manufacturers here.
Coimbatore is the main hub for manufacture of the grinders in the country.
R. Soundarakumar, president of Coimbatore Wet Grinders and Accessories Manufacturers’ Association, said the wet grinder manufacturers in Coimbatore, who supply not only within the State but also to other States, need about 30, 000 stones a month. Those who make table top wet grinders source the stones from Namakkal and those who make the ordinary and commercial grinders get the stones from Uthukuli. However, for almost six months now the quarries in Uthukuli are shut and the issue is in the court. Hence, the manufacturers here are unable to get stones from the quarries in Uthukuli. It is not just the wet grinder manufacturing industries that are struggling. Several stone grinder manufacturers in the unorganised sector are also unable to continue business.
Some are now sourcing stones from quarries near Edayarpalayam. However, these are not high quality stones as those from Uthukuli and the volume is not much. “A large number of units remain shut for the last six months because of this issue,” he said. The loss is estimated to be between ₹200 crore to ₹300 crore and supplies to other cities and States from the wet grinder units here have come to a standstill.
The Association had taken up the issue with the State government too.
Paneerselvam, a wet grinder manufacturer here, said some manufacturers were reusing the stones. Fresh stones are not available and the manufacturers are hit especially during the last two months. “Almost 40 % of the manufacturers here make the ordinary wet grinders and all these units are affected,” he said.