An acute shortage of clay has triggered anxiety in the tile industry, forcing the manufacturers and their employees in and around Feroke to appeal to the State government to take quick action to avert closure of the factories.
The tile factories in Thrissur district suspended production on February 1 owing to the shortage, with the government not giving clearance for clay-mining.
M.A. Abdurahiman, president of the Calicut Tile Manufacturers’ Association, said here on Saturday that unless the government acted quickly to ensure the availability of clay, the main raw material for making tiles, the factories in Kozhikode also would be forced to suspend production. A joint meeting of the manufacturers and the representatives of the workers’ unions here on Friday decided to launch a joint agitation if the government did not gave clearance for mining by February 17 when the next Cabinet meeting was due.
Mr. Abdurahiman said the delay in granting the clay-mining licences would further dampen the prospects of the tile industry, which had been struggling for survival because of the decline in demand for tiles in construction sector.
The industry has plunged into a crisis because of the sharp decline in demand for tiles with concrete roofs becoming the norm.
But it has been showing signs of revival in the past few years because of a renewed interest in tile as a roofing material.