Even as industries were allowed to resume operations in some districts of Maharashtra on Monday with pre-conditions, officials said around 3,000 industrial units have sought permission to start work.
Sources in the industry department said that of the 3,000 registrations made on the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) portal, 1,355 industrial units — 750 within MIDC areas and the rest outside — have applied with details of how they plan to accommodate and transport labourers.
“These industrial units will provide employment to 20,000 workers in the state. Of the total workers, the industries have made arrangements for accommodation of 10,000 workers within their premises and 4,500 in nearby areas… they have also sought permission to transport the rest of the workers,” said an official.
The official added that most of these applications have been received from districts including Nashik, Ahmednagar, Sangli and Satara. The applications are being scrutinised and permissions are likely to be given on Tuesday, the official said.
Terming the industry response as positive, another official said that many more are likely to come forward to seek permission to resume operations.
“We need to take into account that Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Municipal Corporation areas have been excluded from lockdown exemptions. Moreover, with conditions like submitting self-declarations adhering to laid down conditions, including arrangements like accommodation and transport for labourers, to be followed, the industries will take some time to make arrangements and then come forward to seek permission,” said the official, pointing out that these industries are besides the essential industries that have been allowed to operate earlier.
In order to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the unprecedented shutdown, the state government on Friday, acting on Centre’s directives, had exempted manufacturing units and other establishments in industrial estates, industrial townships, special economic zones and export oriented units in non-containment zones from lockdown measures starting April 20.
The new guidelines that are being enforced from Monday permit industrial activity in rural areas or outside the limits of municipalities. But such activities are prohibited in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Municipal Corporation areas.
The guidelines have also imposed various riders — disinfecting all areas, dedicated transport and accommodation for workers, mandatory thermal screening for everyone and staggered shifts among others.
Meanwhile, referring to reports on crowding on the streets on Monday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the stringent restrictions may need to be imposed again if this continues.
“Crowding has been reported in some areas today as if the lockdown has been lifted. This is not acceptable. If such crowding continues and social distancing norms are not followed, we may need to impose more stringent restrictions for some days. We have not lifted the lockdown. Some industrial activity is allowed and it is a trial,” Uddhav said while addressing the state. Nobody should assume that the crisis is over, he added.