With lockdown curbs eased in parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune from Friday, Maharashtra, India’s most industrialised state, is banking on manufacturing to resume in a big way.
As per statistics obtained from the state-run Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health, the MMR and the Pune Metropolitan Area collectively account for 53 per cent of all registered factory units in Maharashtra.
Till Thursday evening, 28,494 units in these two areas had obtained nod to resume operations while adhering to precautionary measures, said senior officials. This is an over ten-fold jump from April 20, the end of the first phase of the lockdown, when only 2,610 production units of essential commodities were functional in these areas.
In the MMR, 18,212 units have obtained permission so far, while in Pune 10,282 units are ready to go into production. Within the MMR, the Thane district, where a number of industrial estates are located, has so far seen 7,828 units obtain permission to operate.
Latest lockdown rules in Maharashtra permit all industrial units, including export-oriented units, special economic zones (SEZ), units located inside industrial townships and industrial estates and production units that require continuous process, along with their supply chains located outside containment zones in non-red zones to function.
Heading into the fourth phase of the lockdown, Maharashtra had reclassified its lockdown zones earlier this week, restricting the red zones to Mumbai and 17 other municipal corporation areas. Areas outside municipal corporation limits within the MMR and those outside the Pune Municipal Corporation limits were also excluded from the restrictive zone.
“We expect most units to reopen now,” Industries Minister Subhash Desai told The Indian Express.
As per latest updates, 46,400 units across the state had already gone into production, with units in the lesser coronavirus-hit regions of Marathwada and North Maharashtra ahead in resuming activity as compared to other division. In Aurangabad, 5,108 units have so far resumed activity, while in Nashik 4,157 units have started production.
Just as the availability of labour and fall in demand continue to be major obstacles for production, officials from the Industries department said that about 10.12 lakh workers had resumed work. Of these, 7.31 lakh were present at the site while another 2.81 lakh was working from home. Over 70,000 units across the state have so far obtained permission to operate. The state is in the process of setting up an industrial employment bureau to meet the labour demand of these industries.
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