Even as small and medium scale industries have been allowed to operate in Pimpri-Chinchwad, paucity of labourers and difficulties in procuring raw material are proving to be major obstacles in restarting operations.
Sandeep Belsare, president of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Small and Medium Scale Industries Association, said they are in talks with the PCMC commissioner to find a solution to challenges before them.
On Friday, PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar had allowed industrial units in the civic body’s jurisdiction to restart their operations but with only with 33 per cent of their work strength and were not allowed to bring workers from outside the PCMC limits. Companies were instructed to ensure thermal scanning of their employees and make masks mandatory for all employees. The civic chief has also banned the use of two-wheelers by employees.
Belsare said the biggest problem before the small scale industries was the paucity of labourers. With majority of migrant labourers going back to their home states, most of the small and medium scale industries are in a fix on how to get adequate manpower to run their operations. “In many cases, labourers have left for their homes after taking the full salary of the month,” he said. In some cases, labourers are reluctant to return to work fearing they might contract Covid-19.
Another challenge before the industries is procuring raw material. Belsare said most of iron, steel, copper and electronic parts required are sourced from companies in Mumbai. The state government is yet to allow units in Mumbai to restart. “Our sourcing at present is from the units in Taloja and nearby areas,” he said.
Banning the use of two-wheelers as a mode of transportation for employees has posed another challenge for small scale units. They said hiring buses to transport their employees was not a feasible option. “The government should a make provision to ferry employees in PMPML buses to main MIDC chowks,” Belsare said.