In an official statement issued by the state government on Monday evening, 6000 units with 40,000-45000 workers restarted operations in the state. The government also said that the in the next two days, about 15,000 units will begin functioning in the state including the Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar which has been given permission to function.
According to the state government release, 1000 units in Ahmedabad, 350 in Rajkot, 600 in Vadodara, 250 in Surat, 450 in Bharuch, 600 in Valsad, 400 in Morbi, 400 in Gandhinagar and 750 in Kutch began operations.
Among the sectors that have started operations are the ceramic industry in Morbi, chemical industries in Bharuch, oil millers and engineering units in Rajkot, engineering units in Kutch and Ahmedabad.
Industrial associations, however, said that not all those who got permissions have been able to start operations on Monday due to labour shortage.
Ajit Shah, president of Sanand Industrial Association said, “Though permission has been granted to all 150 units under our association, only 5-6 units began operations today. Few more will be able to start operations in the coming days, but a majority will be able to begin only after May 3 because there is a huge paucity of labour.”
Ashish Patel, head of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Gujarat said that applications to restart at least 266 incomplete real-estate projects have been given to the Ahmedabad district administration. A majority of these projects are within the city limits and involves 18,000 unskilled and skilled workforce.
Gandhinagar-based Federation of Industries and Association (FIA) in a letter written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday raised objections to certain provisions in the Centre’s circular regarding the guidelines for reopening, describing them as “harsh” measures.
Pointing out conditions where factories have to either transport their labour force or shelter them in their factory premises, the industry body, representing industries located within GIDCs stated, “Most of the MSME units have 1000-1500 square meter area. How will a small industry be able to accommodate stay of workers. This type of temporary settlement creates a hoard of complications with respect to safety, food and housekeeping.”
The FIA also mentioned the possibility of FIRs being registered against the factory owner if a worker is found infected from anywhere or show symptoms when the industry restarts, which would not be due to the industry’s fault.
Regarding the transportation of workers, the industry body stated, “The workers from the surrounding villages are facing lot of hardships to reach the factory site. They are stopped by their sarpanches from leaving the villages and if they reach factories, they are not allowed to re-enter the villages.”
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