COIMBATORE is the only place in India where wet grinders, used predominantly to make idli-dosa batter, are manufactured. The stone neither granite nor soft stone used in the manufacture of these grinders is available only in the hills near Uthukkuli near Tiruppur, and near Namakkal.
Wet grinder manufacturers are not ecstatic over the Jayalalithaa government's announcement of free wet grinders to people. There is not enough stone in the two quarries to make 1.5 crore grinders for distribution, they say.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has, in its election manifesto, also promised a fan and a mixie to mothers in the State. About 1.25 lakh wet grinders of various capacities are manufactured in Coimbatore every month, that is, 15 lakh grinders every year. Even if all the manufacturers, in both the organised and unorganised sectors, step up their capacity to produce 30 lakh grinders a year, it will take five years to meet the target of providing grinders to 1.5 crore households. After five years, when the scheme closes, what will I do with my expanded capacity? asks a manufacturer.
But manufacturing 1.5 crore mixies and electric fans is not a problem because no natural raw material is needed, mixie manufacturers in Coimbatore say.
Motor and pump manufacturers in Coimbatore had high expectations when the previous government announced a scheme to replace old farm pump sets with new ones free of cost. But they were let down.T.S. Subramanian