Industries in Telangana are reeling under the onslaught of the drought, owing to their excessive reliance on agriculture and water.
Nrupender Rao, Chairman of CII Telangana as well as Pennar Industries Ltd, told BusinessLine that the drought in the State has been “really bad” for industry. It is hurting agro-based industries the most, he said.
Agro-based industries make up the majority in more than half of the 10 districts in the State.
They include those that are involved in the solvent extraction of soya bean, cotton mining, making of surgical cotton, cold storage and floriculture, among others.
“We, however, currently do not have any statistics or data on the extent of the impact,” said Rao. “But as we understand from the members, most of the agro-based industries are impacted.”
Almost all the agro-based industries that depend on access to water have been hit.
However, a few of them, which depend on maize and cotton, which require lower volumes of water, are doing better, Rao added.
The State government is keeping a close watch on the situation.
“There have been serious concerns about the fate of agro-industries if the drought situation continues for a longer period. We are assessing the situation and working on an action plan,” a senior official in the Department of Industries said.
The rainfall deficiency in during 2014-15 and 2015-16 aggravated the drought situation, hindering industrial growth.
Government data show that 231 mandals in the States were affected by the drought; 45 per cent of them had over 20 per cent rainfall deficiency during the South-West monsoon.
The rainfall deficiency in Nizamabad district was 34 per cent and in Medak district 41 per cent.
The reduced water supply in Hyderabad is also a concern for industries such as plastics and bulk drugs, which are not entirely dependent on water but need it for certain processes like steam production.