Dehradun: The Doon Valley once famous for the decorative and ornamental lamps is now facing identity crisis. The bulb manufacturing industry which once flourished in Dehradun has been facing a serious threat from the Chinese market for the past one decade.

According to sources, during the last five years, 80 percent of the lamp production units have been shut down while rest of the units are unable to maintain their standard and hence unable to match the tastes of the customers.

“India’s growing lamp industry is no match for China’s technically sound, inexpensive and variety based lamps”, sources said. The demand of Chinese lamps is giving sleepless nights to the workers in the Valley, they added.

Uttarakhand’s power sector is of no help either to these workers. Frequent power cuts lead to the delay in the manufacturing of the bulbs thus increasing  their costs.

“Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) is unable to keep its promises as the Valley still suffers frequent power cuts thus leading to an additional increase of 20 percent in bulbs costs”, sources mentioned.

Head of Industries Association of Uttarakhand (IAU) Pankaj Jha on Wednesday said, “To prevent the Doon bulb industry from sinking into losses, the Uttarakhand government needs to grant more subsidies and exemptions to these units. Further, they also need to maintain the supply of power in these areas.”

“The government also needs to provide technical assistance and training to the workers to improve the quality of lamps and match the products of China”, Jha said.

Facts
•    AC Jain got the first bulb unit ‘Comet bulb factory’ constructed in 1958.
•    At least 1 lakh people were employed a decade ago in the bulb manufacturing business.

However, now only 5000 workers are engged in these dilapidated units.
•  Current investment in the Doon Bulb industry is somewhere around Rs 30 crore.

JPN/BUREAU