Automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki Wednesday received permission from the Gurgaon district administration to resume operations at its Manesar plant with 600 workers.“Maruti has been given permission to operate their Manesar plant in IMT Manesar. They had to prepare the plant first.
When it is in a position to safely handle workers, they can start operations. It is not a permission at that level, but they have to keep us informed of when they start the operations,” said V S Kundu, monitoring officer appointed by the state for COVID-19 in Gurgaon.
As per officials, the company had applied for permission to operate with 4,696 employees, but they received permission only for 600 workers. “They have 9,800 employees at the plant and had applied permission for around 50% of those, as per the Government of India guidelines. But we have allowed them to start with 600. We want them to first work out a system for the safety of their workers, which for us is of paramount importance… When this operation stabilises, we will consider scaling it up to more employees,” said Kundu.
The “Permission Certificate” states that employees are permitted to work in a single shift. “Further, as directed, no other manufacturing/service activity is permitted in the unit other than those approved under the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, during the said lockdown period, else strict action will be taken and you will be responsible for the same,” states the certificate.
“The application is recommended for permission to operate for 600 employees only during lockdown period, subject to physical inspection and submission of all necessary documents in support of their claim (declaration, SOP, photographs, etc) before commencement of actual operation,” it adds.
Officials from Maruti Suzuki, said they are still unclear about if and when they will resume operations. “Our Manesar plant cannot operate independent of the Gurgaon unit because components move between the two. We have applied for permission for the Gurgaon unit but have not yet received an update. We are in discussion with the
Deputy Commissioner regarding this,” said a company spokesperson.Kuldeep Janghu, general secretary of the Maruti Udyog Kamgaar Union said: “As of now, we have been told that production will not begin… Employees are getting their salary without any deductions so far.”
Officials said the administration has received 300 applications from industries looking to resume operations and permission has been granted to “around 30”.
“Also, some parts come from different parts of the country, such as Punjab, which is completely locked down, so we are still evaluating whether we can start operations in Manesar or not. The final decision has not yet been taken,” said the spokesperson.
“They can start maintenance work or housekeeping, but with just 600 people, production cannot happen. At least 1,000 people will be needed for that, and production also will only really happen when the lockdown lifts in the nation, and our vendors in other parts of the country can transport components as they did before. Otherwise, production is impossible,” said Janghu.
Even as relaxations were given in several parts of the country to industries starting April 20, Kundu had, on Sunday evening, clarified that this would not be the case in Gurgaon, which has recorded 41 cases of coronavirus so far.
“No industry or establishment other than those already permitted for essential services will be allowed to operate. Any such industry/establishment which could be granted permission under the MHA guidelines has to apply for the permission and a decision will be taken on their application by authorised committee,” he had said.
“There is also a limit that the Government of Haryana has imposed upon the number of passes that can be issued in areas, which we have to keep in mind. Therefore, we are only allowing either essential services, or services which can give a wage earning platform to workers situated in the premises,” said Kundu.
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