Though imposed a bit late this summer compared to last year, the scheduled power cuts coupled with the unscheduled ones, besides breakdowns, have returned, affecting the industry adversely.
Even as the steel industry, the major consumer of power, is already facing market slowdown and being further hampered by the power cuts, the knitwear industry involved in manufacturing for the upcoming winter is also facing production issues in absence of adequate power.
Also, the industry that is already reeling under shortage of labourers, rued that two- to three-day power cuts had started making migratory labourers flee to their native states.The good power scenario earlier this month due to decrease in power consumption owing to heavy pre-monsoon rains had raised the hopes of city-based industry of a good summer this year.
But, due to hot weather conditions prevailing in the region for the past few days,Punjab State Power Corporation Limited(PSPCL) had to face power shortage due to which it resorted to two-day power cuts on general industry and three-days a week cut on steel industry since June 25.
KK Garg, president, All-India Induction Furnace Association, said the steel industry was already facing bad times due to unfavourable market circumstances and the power cuts were aggravating their sufferings.
“Though PSPCL has imposed power cut of three days a week on steel industry, but the total duration of power cuts on the industry is more than that, as these are accompanied with unscheduled power cuts and technical snags. There is no power supply in the Focal Point area since Saturday morning,” he said.“The steel industry is the worst affected due to the power scenario. The worst part is that due to market situation, we are not in a position to increase the prices of steel,” he said, adding that the industry was heavily dependent on power.
On the other hand, knitwear industry that is trying to bring the production activities in full swing so that they could meet the enhanced production targets for the coming winter season is also getting affected due to power cuts.
Darshan Dawar, president, Knitwear Club, said the industry was already facing grim shortage of labour to meet the production levels this year, and the two-day power cut in a week imposed on industry since the last week was making more labourers return to their native states. “This is because they would not get any work for these days and prefer to return home instead of staying idle here,” he added.
Notably, the knitwear industry had to increase production this year due to zero stock with the manufacturers and retailers and expectations of good winter season ahead.Meanwhile, the inadequate power has also hit the cycle industry considerably.
Gurmit Singh Kular, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), said the two-day power cuts had reduced the overall production by 33%, and if the situation remained the same in the coming weeks, industry was bound to suffer big losses.