Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday turned down a request to allow industrial units in Pimpri-Chinchwad Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation to function during night shifts.
“There is no question of allowing industrial units in Pune Metropolitan region as the central government has asked us to enforce stricter lockdown,” Pawar told The Indian Express.
Pawar said the state government has received revised lockdown guidelines from the central government regarding its enforcement. “Through the revised guidelines, the central government has asked us to enforce stricter lockdown to check the spread of the pandemic. And therefore we are following the guidelines strictly. The containment plan put in place in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad is part of our stricter lockdown guidelines. I had held a meeting with the divisional commissioner, district collector and municipal commissioners of both the civic bodies and told them to ensure lockdown compliance,” he said.
Earlier, the Forum for Small Scale Industries Association, which represents nearly 5,000 industrial units in the Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial area, had urged the state government to allow it to start functioning during night shifts. “During a meeting with the divisional commissioner and district collector last week, we had urged them to allow the industries to start their manufacturing facility at least during the night shift. The logic behind starting the night shift was that there was less movement of people on roads and vehicles, and therefore chances of the virus spreading were low. Also, we had promised that we would ensure stricter adherence to norms like wearing of masks, keeping social distance and washing of hands,” said Abhay Bhor, president of the Forum.
Bhor said if the lockdown continued, lakhs of workers in the industrial area would not get their salaries. “For one month, the industries have sustained themselves. They have given salaries to their workers. But if the raw material they have purchased remains unused, they will have to make payment to their vendors and will have nothing left for their workers if no manuafcturing takes place. How will these industries pay salaries if they don’t earn anything,” asked Bhor.
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