It's not the economic slowdown but dismal infrastructure that has spelled doom for industrial units in the satellite town of Noida.
Hit by crippling power cuts of up to 10 hours at a stretch and poor management, a majority of the small-scale industries in have shut shop in the past two years.
According to a latest survey conducted by the District Industry Centre (DIC), only 37 percent of the total industrial manufacturing units in Noida were found working as on February 21.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr Mangal Sain, general manager, DIC confirmed that a majority of industrial units in the satellite town has closed. "Of the total 7,303 manufacturing units registered in Noida, only 2736 were working as on Februrary 21, 2009 while rest had downed their shutters. Which means only 37 percent industries are working on date while remaining 63 percent has stopped operations."
As on March 2007, around 5,000 small-scale manufacturing units were registered with DIC. 2,281 manufacturing factories were registered with the Factory Act Department while 22 pharmaceutical units manufacturing medicines were registered with the drug department.
"These industries employed over 20,000 people. Not only will people face unemployment with their closure, but also revenue from these industries will dip," he said.
Sain blamed erratic power supply coupled with lack of finances and poor management for the large-scale closure of industrial units in Noida.
In the summer of 2008, almost all parts of Noida and Greater Noida experienced massive blackouts of upto 12 hours. What has caused this dismal power situation is that while power demand in Noida is increasing at 7-8 per cent every year, the capacity augmentation has not kept pace. The shifting of multi national companies (MNCs) and industries in Noida and Greater Noida have resulted in a massive influx of population to these two satellite town. Consequently the power requirement has gone up.
Owners of small and medium scale industry say that if authorities do not wake up and take corrective measures immediately, it might spell doom for Noida's economy, which is largely dependent on its industries.
Greater Noida has mostly medium and large industries. MNCs and other larger industries have set up their own generators to cope with power cuts.
Rakesh Katyal, president, Noida Entrepreneur Association said, "The insensitive attitude of the administration, coupled with corruption has spelt doom for the industries. But authorities are just not bothered.”