The industry in Ludhiana is bearing heavy losses due to the power disruption caused by a fire at the 220-KV sub-station in Lalton village on Friday. Industry representatives claimed that they had suffered production losses running into hundreds of crores in the past two days.
Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industry Associations, said, "Power was disrupted in almost all the industrial areas, including focal point. On Saturday also, power was available merely for one hour in most of the areas. The industry has incurred losses amounting to Rs 1,000 crore in the past two days, which includes labour charges."
Industrialists said that large units, which have a commitment to meet their export orders, continued with the production using generators, which increased their cost substantially.
"Ludhiana produces around 50,000 cycles a day. The production losses of the cycle industry alone are 25-30%.
"Besides, there are numerous small units which have to suspend work in the absence of generators and yet pay labourers for sitting idle. When there is a scheduled power cut, the industry normally adjusts the working hours to deal with losses on account of labour charges," said Charanjeet Singh Vishkarma, a cycle manufacturer.
PSPCL chief engineer (protection and maintenance, Ludhiana) CS Mann said one transformer had got completely damaged in the fire, whereas another one was partially damaged, causing losses to the tune of Rs 4 crore.
'Modernise outdated sub-stations'
Industrialists have also questioned the maintenance operations of the PSPCL. "Some of the outdated sub-stations of the PSPCL need to be modernised as they cannot bear high temperatures, which results in heavy losses to the industry as well as the PSPCL," said Upkar Singh, joint secretary, Confederation of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.