KOCHI: Pushing about 20,000 workers and 115 employees into an uncertain future, the Kerala State Bamboo Corporation (KSBC) has been laid off since last Friday.
The major reason behind the lay-off is the non-supply of Phenol, the raw material for the production of Bambooply, by Hindustan Organic Chemicals Limited (HOCL), as the company is yet to receive the rescue package of `150 crore announced by the Central Government.
Sources said that the lay-off may continue if the problem faced by the HOCL was not resolved. It is learnt that the KSBC has an accumulated loss of `32 crore now. In February, when the crisis loomed large, the corporation redeployed its workers to various units.
As Phenol is produced only by the HOCL in the country, every crisis there will have a butterfly effect on the Bamboo Corporation. Even though the corporation had tried to use Phenol purchased from private players, it later gave up the move, as it was costly. A similar lay-off had occurred four years ago too.
T Sukumaran Nair, Managing Director of KSBC pointed out that though Bambooply can be made using Urea, it is not eco-friendly. Hence the company has refrained from using this method.
Bamboo ply and bamboo tiles are the major products of the KSBC. The factories of the corporation are located in Angamaly in Ernakulam and Nallalam in Kozhikode. The workers associated with the KSBC are from Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Pathanamthitta.