Even with lockdown relaxations across the state, textile markets in Surat are yet to get relief as 85 per cent of the market falls in cluster zone areas. Only 15 per cent of the markets that are not in containment zones has got green signal to resume functioning. Also, only around half of the powerloom factories in Surat and outskirts resume operations by Tuesday.
Surat city has 165 textile trading markets that houses 65,000 shops, employing lakhs of people. The Federation of Surat Textile Trading Association (FOSTTA) members had few days ago, submitted a memorandum to Surat District Collector requesting permission to open the shops.
On Tuesday, Collector Dr Dhaval Patel held a meeting with Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani and FOSTTA members in which it was decided to keep the markets in the containment zones closed.
The officials suggested modalities to open 20 per cent of markets in the containment zones to open with restrictions. FOSTTA president Manoj Agrawal said, “They have suggested opening of 20 per cent the markets in containment zones… We will hold a meeting with the presidents of different markets on Wednesday and will take a decision.”
Over a lakh of migrant workers who were working with the textile industry have left Surat to their home states. On Tuesday, around 20 powerloom factories at Anjani Industries on Sayan Olpad road, started operations with limited workers. Around 30 powerloom factories started in Sachin GIDC area and 10 in the Diamond Nagar industrial estate at Laskana. All these are in non-containment zones.
Anjani Industrial Estate president Vijay Mangukiya said, “There are 1,000 small and medium units in our industrial estate. In the powerloom segment, over 70 per cent of labourers are from Odisha of which a large number has left for their home. Some of them are staying back. With them, we started the factories. Seeing the positive atmosphere, other workers may also join work. We hope that the situation will be normal soon. We are also trying to convince the dyeing and printing mill owners to start factories.”