THE DISTRICT Collectorate has issued orders, asking officials not to shut any industrial unit “where one or two positive cases of Covid-19 are found”.
The directives were issued a day after industrialists protested the closure of entire units even if a single positive case emerged. “Officials should not close down entire industrial units after one or two positive cases are found. I have received complaints from rural areas regarding such closures, which are not as per government guidelines. Therefore, we have issued orders banning closure of such units upon detection of one or two positive cases,” said District Collector Naval Kishore Ram on Tuesday.
The directives issued on Tuesday state, “In Pune, sub-divisional officer or incident commander are declaring containment zone and micro-containment zones in areas affected by coronavirus. When one or two positive cases are detected, entire area is being declared as containment zone. Because of this, it is noticed that even industrial units and industrial offices are being shut.”
The order further states, “Therefore, all sub-divisional officers and incident commander are being intimated that while declaring containment zones, if one or two positive cases are found, entire industrial units or industrial offices should not be closed down. If in a residential society, a positive case is found, the affected area should be declared as containment zone but industrial units or offices near residential societies should not be shut down.”
The order also states, “If one or two positive cases are found in an industrial unit, all those who have come in contact with the patient should be traced and medical examination conducted. Entire industrial units should not be closed down.”
“In affected area, if industrial units have to be closed and containment zone has to be declared, then requisite prior permission from the district collector should be taken,” the order reads.
Welcoming the move, H P Srivastava, vice-president of Deccan Chamber of Commerce, Indusries and Agriculture (DCCIA), said, “This is a move in the right direction. Such an order was long expected. Now, industries can function smoothly without the fear of being closed down. All industrial units in rural areas are strictly following government guidelines and distancing norms.”
The Indian Express had reported that industrialists from rural areas were dissatisfied with the containment zone policy, and had claimed that industrial units were being shut and declared as being under containment even if a single case of Covid-19 was detected. The industrialists had urged the state government to intervene.
Sandeep Belsare, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, said, “Since the collectorate has issued the orders, it will be applicable to the entire district, including the jurisdiction of PMC and PCMC. Over 15,000 small, medium and large industrial units will benefit from the move.”
Dilip Batwal, president, Chakan Federation of Industries, said, “After the industrial units restarted, this problem was common. We brought this to the notice of the collectorate. Accordingly, last week, a meeting was held and we told officials how industries were being affected.”
Calling it a timely move, Deepak Karandikar, vice-president of MCCIA, the apex body of industries in the state, said, “The move will benefit industrial units in rural as well as urban areas. It is a huge relief for more than 15,000 industrial units.”