‘The knitting capital of India’ faces a mortal power crisis
This fiscal year has been a rather power‘less’ year for a few states in India. According to an article by Press Trust Of India : New Delhi, Monday June 10, 2013, out of 17 energy starving states the 3 southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka will be most affected. These estimates are based on the scarcity of fuel and the poor financial conditions of state power distribution companies. The power deficit in Tamil Nadu is said to be around 26.5% while it will be 24.8% in Kerala.
This power shortage is going to affect the SMEs primarily. Specifically speaking the Tirupur Knitwear industry, the SOUL of Tirupur will be hit hard. The beautiful city of Tiruppur is situated near the banks of the river Noyyal in Tamil nadu. For decades Tiruppur has been a hub for the knitwear industry providing employment to over 5 lakh workers. Following a closure of dyeing units by the order of the Madras HC, the prospects for the Tirupur Knitwear industry are further doomed, owing to the power cuts in the state. On one hand the raw materials are expensive and therefore the cost of production rises. Alongside power cuts only add to the downfall of the Tirupur Knitwear industry.
As per an article by A Subburaj, Feb 27, 2012, ( http://goo.gl/sjF5gm ) in the Times of India, Tirupur’s knitwear exports were estimated to decline from Rs. 13,500 crores to the extent of Rs. 5000 crores in the.
As reported by S. Duraiarasu (http://goo.gl/jXfZJz) ( Correspondent, India Today ) in an article dated December 17, 2012, Tirupur faces power cuts up to 16 hours a day. To add to it, unavailability of diesel at subsidized rates shoots expenses out of the roof while running generators. Failure to deliver on time compels buyers to choose other units in China and Bangladesh. This has also affected the incomes and revenues thereby disturbing the entire economy of Tirupur. Although, recently an article by T E Narasimhan, dated April 2013 mentions that there is a ray of hope with the new markets discovered by Tirupur, power shortage will continue to be one of the major challenges. That start of 2013 has seen marginal growth in exports but power crisis is a big obstacle.
In view of the deteriorating situation at hand, it is imperative the government support their industries. The industrialists stand by a viable solution in form of a more sustainable source of energy for industries. This could provide the much-needed power and help Tirupur regain its Knitwear industry. The article by A Subburaj, dated Feb 27, 2012, also quoted Mr. G R Senthilvel, an exporter, saying, “The government should also take steps to install new power projects at the earliest.” It is important to understand the need of energy at the time in these states. It is the country that prospers when its SMEs and cottage industries flourish. Tomorrow is yours!