Mumbai/Malegaon: Over ten lakh powerlooms in Bhiwandi and Malegaon - estimated to be over 50% of the total in India, have stopped production since huge losses the two textile centres incurred due to market slowdown and closure of processing units in Rajasthan.
While about 2.5 lakh powerlooms are running only 2-3 days in a week since last one month, the weavers in Bhiwandi with about 08 lakh powerlooms, have decided to stop work from August 16 till August 31.
The alarming economic situation at both the textile centres of Maharashtra has left about one million people jobless besides a loss of about 150 crore rupees every day.
"The closure of textile processing units in Pali and Balotra has led to low demand of grey cloth in the market. The prices of grey cloth have come down to 3-4 rupees per meter less than the actual manufacturing cost in last three months while the prices of yarn remain the same. Under this situation the weavers cannot run their powerlooms", Aleem Faizee, Secretary of Malegaon Industries' & Manufacturers' Association (MIMA) said while talking to ummid.com.
Prices of cotton grey cloth started falling in February this year when the Rajasthan Pollution Board axed about 800 textile processing units and forced them to stop work accusing them of violating the norms.
"However, situation worsened further when the markets opened after Eid break in July. This forced the weavers in Malegaon to bring the production to minimum", Faizee added.
Likewise in Bhiwandi, tired of rising yarn prices and declining grey fabric cost, the weavers decided to stop production from August 16 to August 31.
"More than 90% of the powerloom units in Bhiwandi are closed since Monday. The market situation is such that running powerloom units will be suicidal", ex MLA Rasheed Tahir Momin said.
Worried by the closed powerlooms units in Bhiwandi and Malegaon, the labourers who migrated the two centres from Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are planning to go back home.
"I came from Pratapgarh only a week ago after vacation. But I will be going back home because of closed powerloom units", Mohammad Shamim, a labourer, said.
The closure of powerloom units in Bhiwandi and Malegaon is bound to impact textile business in Surat and other part of the country.
Market watchers recall similar situation was also witnessed when Vajpayee was the prime minister of the country.