Steady migration of workforce from Tiruchi

It’s owing to a setback faced by heavy engineering industries


There has been steady migration of workforce out of Tiruchi over the years due to the setback faced by the heavy engineering industries that had been too dependent on BHEL for conversion orders.

According to an estimate by industry sources, the downtrend has caused displacement of three-fourth of 25,000 industrial workers over the last seven to eight years, in consonance with the decline in the orderbook position of BHEL.

Even among the 7,000 plus workers, only one-third get continuous employment, the sources said.

A good number of the young workers with exposure to high-pressure welding have seemingly migrated to other countries for their livelihood, S. Sampath, Managing Director, Velmurugan Industries, said.

“A small section of the workers have also returned to villages though eking out a livelihood from agriculture is still a tough proposition unlike the assured salaries industrial jobs,” Mr. Sampath observed.

Several of the ancilliary units that have witnessed migration of workers are faced with the challenge of transitioning from heavy fabrication to making of compact and critical components. The erosion of workforce has been happening over the last six to seven years. The likelihood of the workers returning to Tiruchi any time soon seems to be bleak since the revival process will be quite time-consuming, according to the bankers.

The ancilliary units are understandably exploring the scope for diversification and have sought a special package from the Reserve Bank of India for extricating the sector for the sick conditions, to begin with.

The ancillaries are hopeful of a turnaround as the orderbook of the BHEL was still strong for replacement and modernisation projects, sources said.

With BHEL identifying solar, aerospace defence, and metro and high speed rail projects as growth drivers, the ancillaries are hopeful of tweaking their capabilities to suit the new requirements.

The problem the ancillaries now face is infusion of capital for diversification.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 5:02:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/steady-migration-of-workforce-from-tiruchi/article31367114.ece

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