The powerloom weavers of Erode in Tamil Nadu are stuck following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic after the industry was slowly coming up after last year’s lockdown .
Erode district has more than 25,000 powerloom units spread across Veerappanchatram, Chithode and Lakkapuram and employing roughly around 1 lakh people. Twnety-four lakh metres of fabric is manufactured from these powerlooms per day.
Selvaraj Babu, a powerloom owner from Erode, told IANS: “There are no fresh orders from our regular clients in Gujarat, Hyderabad, Rajasthan and New Delhi as the second wave of the pandemic is hitting these states and all the businesses are dried up. We were slowly coming up after the 2020 lockdown and was planning to move ahead with this year’s business but the second wave has ruined all the plans.”
Stocks of rayon, woven, packed and ready for dispatch are stuck following the second wave and stocks to the tune of several crore are stuck in the looms thus bringing in huge losses to the industry.
With night curfew and other restrictions in place, there are very few orders to these powerlooms. Textile units are not buying fabric as there is a general fear that more curbs are coming up soon.
Several workers are facing uncertainty as the looms have cut short their production by almost half and have already communicated to the workers that there could be more curbs in the offing.
While the government authorities are putting up a brave face that there won’t be any lockdown, the industry and workers are keeping their fingers crossed as the Covid positive cases are mounting and fatality is also increasing.