In the last 25 days about five powerloom weavers have committed suicide in Sircilla unable to clear debts. Sircilla has attained the dubious distinction of being the distress hotspot of the weaving industry.
Whenever weavers lose employment, they resort to running up huge debts to eke out their livelihood and, when they were unable to repay, they resort to suicides.
Now, the power cuts are adding to the crisis looming over Sircilla town. Power cuts are affecting the cloth production resulting in the reduction of wages. The town has been reeling under acute power cuts ranging from five to six hours per day.
A steep hike in the prices of yarn, colours and machin tools is also crippling the production at power looms. Powerloom owner A Rajesham said that normally 2 lakh metres of cloth is produced by the powerlooms in Sircilla and surrounding areas.
The power outages have cut it down by 40 percent. ‘’There is despair all around with a majority of powerlooms closing down and resulting in weavers committing suicide,’’ he said.
The power cuts since one month is costing the powerloom weavers dearly due to decline in the production of fabric. Sircilla is the only place in the state with highest number of 32,000 powerlooms producing cotton and polyster fabric and providing employment to several thousands of weavers.
CPM district secretary G Mukunda Reddy lashed out at the government for neglecting the welfare of the powerloom weavers and demanded uninterrupted power supply to Sircilla powerloom units like in the past.
He also demanded the district administration which has been running a counselling centre to prevent suicides of the weavers to work more effectively in view of the increasing suicides in the recent past.
The government should view the situation seriously and come to their rescue, he said.
Sircilla Electricity Cooperative Society deputy engineer L Laxma Reddy said that they had sent proposals to the NPDCL for providing uninterrupted power supply to the looms but there was no response.