Udaipur (Rajasthan): Famous Indian marbles which fascinated people from across the world is witnessing a steep fall in business due Chinese tiles which are capturing the Indian market at a fast pace.
Udaipur, a hub for natural white marble, once had over 600 industries in the city's Marble Industrial belt. Unfortunately, half of these industries are forced to close down now due to lack of demand and are also replaced by Chinese tiles.
Udaipur Marble Processors Samiti president Vijay Godha said, "In these past 15 years, marble industry has been badly affected. Earlier each and every unit used to work in three shifts, 50 per cent of industries have been closed today and in running units, labours work only in one shift."
The shutting down of the industries has severely affected jobs for labours coming from nearby tribal areas.
Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) member ML Lunawath asserted, "We are facing the impact of growing demand of Chinese tiles here. Business is down hence we have no other options but to shift to other businesses such as granite or Quartz."
The consumption of Chinese tiles in the local area is less, but it is increasing day by day in other parts of the country.
Chinese tiles have grown rapidly in the last 15 years. A seller of Chinese tiles, on condition of anonymity, said, "The costing of a finished marble is much more than tiles. A Chinese tile starts from just Rs. 20 and people find it pocket-friendly. However, a tile's longevity can never be compared with a natural marble."
Its a double whammy for the natural marble industry as Quartz is also making way in the market slowly.
With more than 50 per cent industries shut down, the natural marble industry is facing a hardship which is not only affecting the Indian economy but its glory as well.