Coimbatore: Over 25,000 small and medium industries in and around the city downed their shutters on Thursday, while about 100 industrialists were arrested for attempting to 'beg with bowls in their hand' to lodge their protest against 13 hours power cut and also seeking equal distribution of power across Tamil Nadu.

Responding to the call given by various industrial organisations, including Coimbatore, Tirupur District Microb and Cottan Entrepreneurs Association (KOTMA), industries downed their shutters, while nearly 5,000 industrialsts, led by KOTMA president, S Ravikumar observed one day hunger strike near the Central Bus stand, seeking uninterrupted power supply across the State, without any bias towards Indian and Foreign industries.

Meanwhile nearly 130 members of Coimbatore SIDCO Industrial estate Manufacturers' Welfare Association, resorted to a novel protest to bring the attention of their plight, by coming out on the streets with 'begging bowl,' symbolizing that their livelihood was a question mark, if the Government continued with the power cut for 14 hours a day.

Ravikumar said that the industries were having a production loss of Rs 20 crore due to the scheduled and unscheduled power cuts a day. The Government, without any bias, should equally distribute power across the State and even an additional power cut of two hours a day in Chennai would help meet the requirements of other industries in the State, he said.

Stating that majority of the small industries were functioning in residential areas, which were not possible to function during night time and in shifts, the association urged the Government to not to resort to power cut during day time, as running generators would also create pollution in these areas.

They also asked the Government to seek the entire power generated from Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to the State, till the deficit was met by commissioning other projects, like North Chennai, Mettur and Vallur.

(Agencies)

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