The devastating earthquake in Nepal has once again brought to the fore the impact of natural calamities in and around the country on the industry in Ludhiana. Be it floods in Kashmir or Uttrakhand, industry in the city has always been affected.
Ludhiana exports bicycle worth `150 crore and cycle parts worth `50 crore every year to Nepal that witnessed loss of life and property in the recent earthquake. The country also receives a large number of hosiery and other products from Ludhiana.
While the traders believe that the calamity would make a severe dent on the industry in the city as the payments would be blocked for long time, experts say that the payments of goods sent to Jammu and Kashmir and Uttrakhand before the floods in both the states were still pending.
J&K was hit by floods last year while Uttrakhand was hit by floods in 2013 that directly damaged the prospects of Ludhiana hosiery and shawl industry. However the tragedy in Nepal has caused a major dent on the cycle industry that exports more than 6 lakh cycles to the country every year.
Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) said that the trade of cycle industry that amounts to at least 200 crore every year has been hampered severely due to the earthquake in the country.
"Though it is a time that we should lend a helping hand to the people of Nepal, but the Ludhiana industry would take a lot of time to come back on track as payments of the industrial units would be delayed," he added.
Meanwhile, Charanjiv Singh, advisor of the Shawl Club said that the shawls and mufflers are the main item that are exported to Nepal. "As the technology used in manufacturing of mufflers and shawls in Nepal is not advanced as in Ludhiana, most of the material is exported from here," said Singh.
Vinod Thapar, chairman of Knitwear Club, said that any tragedy in cold regions in and around India would have a direct impact on the Ludhiana industry. "First it was Uttrakhand, then Kashmir and now it is Nepal. Industry of Ludhiana has to bear the brunt of natural calamities that take place anywhere," said Thapar.