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Bhiwandi remains shut for third day in a row
Saturday November 9, 2013 1:31 AM, Staff Reporter

Even as the state government failed to show any interest in resolving the issue, Bhiwandi - the biggest textile cluster in India located some 60 kms from here, was paralysed consecutive for the third day as over eight lakh powerlooms remained silent demanding cancellation of the recent hike in electricty tariff.

A large number of people Friday gathered at the office of local MP Suresh Towre's office where the "Bhiwandi Sangharsh Samiti" - an umbrella body formed with the support of all NGOs associated with local the powerloom industry, social groups and political parties, called upon them to remain united and peaceful.

Samiti members said despite the bandh entering its third day on Friday they had not heard anything from the state government.

It also said that many powerloom unit owners were even giving Rs.150 to 200 as compensation, and also helping and arranging food for labourers.

The samiti also sent a written demand to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan urging him to resolve the issue as early as possible.

President of Bhiwandi Powerloom Weavers' Federation MY Momin said that the state government in itself is losing 93.50 crore of rupees every day.

In Ichalkiranji also all the powerloom units were closed on Friday. With the same demands, Ichalkiranji also announced five-day strike starting from Thursday.

Meanwhile, powerloom associations in Malegaon have announced a five-day bandh starting from November 12.

The state government had announced in the winter session of the assembly held in Nagpur last year that it will supply electricity to powerloom industry on subsidised rate of Rs.1.80.

Despite the announcement in the assembly, the cabinet later revised this rate to Rs.2.57 per unit. But, we were shocked when we received last month's bill whith a tariff which was hiked by about 40%.

Powerloom unit owners say, electricity tariff in Maharashtra is already on the higher side if compared with other states.

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