Disruptions in supply chain hit appliance repairs

COVID-19: Disruptions in supply chain hit appliance repairs

Representative image. Credit: PTI Photo

With the onset of summer, people are struggling to get their air conditioners, refrigerators and fans repaired as service technicians are not able to fix them due non availability of spare parts, says a latest survey. Spare parts are not easily available due to disruption in the supply chain. 

Though the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted service technicians (AC and refrigerator, other white goods, appliance, gadget repairs etc.) to provide their services from April 20, they struggling to get parts as shops are closed or there is lack of supply, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community social media platform.

"Around 40 per cent of households need gadget repairs, while 50 per cent of households need AC or refrigerator repairs. While service technicians are permitted, they may not be able to fix ACs, given the shutdown of supplies," says the survey which received more than 17,000 responses from across the country.

On being asked about the kind of services they need urgently, 18 per cent of consumers said they needed AC or refrigerator repairs, 11 per cent said other white goods, appliance repairs, 11 per cent said gadget repairs like mobiles and laptops, 8 per cent said both AC/ refrigerator and other white goods/ appliance repairs and 5 per cent said other white goods/ appliance repairs and gadget repairs including mobile and laptop.

Despite the Government permission, in most large cities, such service technicians are still not permitted because of the red zone or containment zone restrictions being applicable. Even if the service technicians are permitted in green zone areas, consumer and business feedback indicate that they will be able to do little without supplies. For instance, to repair most of the air conditioners and refrigerators, refrigerant gas is required. The gas is imported from Thailand and China with the Daryaganj Market in Delhi being one of the primary distribution points for India.

Daryaganj has been identified as one of the COVID-19 hotspots and completely shut. This has led to zero supply at majority of the dealers. Hence, technicians can do little in fixing an AC or fridge. It is therefore critical that along with the respective technicians, associated supplies are also added in the essential services list, said the survey.