The rainy season is anathema for industrialists operating production units in the SIDCO Industrial Estates in the district, due to poor condition of roads.
While the production units in Thuvakudi have some cause for comfort owing to the widening and strengthening of the roads by the Thuvakudi Municipality, the conditions in the other three industrial estates in Vazhavandankottai, Tiruverumbur and Ariyamangalam leave much to be desired, according to representatives of industry associations.
According to P. Rajappa, the local bodies, while laying roads, ought to consider the load factor. Roads in industrial estates must be sturdy enough to withstand movement of heavy loads, he said.
The initiatives taken by the local bodies for maintaining the damaged roads is appreciable, but it is also important that the efforts must serve the intended purpose, he said.
Maintenance of industrial estates has always been a contentious issue. The responsibility of maintaining roads, drainage and street lights vests with the SIDCO as well as the local bodies.
But, there is still no clarity on who among the two have a major role to play, Mr. Rajappa said.
The Tansidco usually undertakes maintenance by way of mobilising contributions from the unit holders. However, the amount collected is not sufficient.
A few years back, the Tansidco had prepared scheme estimates for maintenance of the industrial estates with the support of the industry associations.
Land-filling, levelling, fencing, strengthening and re-laying roads, construction of storm water drainage, water supply arrangements, street light arrangements, roadside greenery and social forestry were discussed.
The idea was to utilise 60% of the grant from government of India under MSE-CDP (Micro Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme), obtain State Government grant to the extent of 30%, and collect 10% of the cost from beneficiaries.
However, the initiative for the face-lift of the industrial estates has not seemingly taken off along desired lines.