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Surat diamond association seeks extension in market timings

The Indian Express wrote on Monday how Surat diamond units had partitioned emery wheels that usually engage four polishers, to enable at least two to work on each of them.

By: Express News Service | Surat | Published: July 27, 2020 10:11:15 pm
Workers at the emery wheel inside a diamond factory in Surat. (Photo by Hanif Malek)

The Surat Diamond Association on Monday requested municipal commissioner to extend the timing of diamond trading markets and allow two persons to sit on an emery wheel, as it would amount to violation of the Surat Municipal Corporation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to maintain social distancing.

The Indian Express wrote on Monday how Surat diamond units had partitioned emery wheels that usually engage four polishers, to enable at least two to work on each of them.

According to industry estimates, over 1,700 workers in the diamond business have tested positive, with the hubs of Katargam and Varachha turning hotspots. Keeping this in mind, Surat municipal commissioner B N Pani had laid SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for the traders and factory owners. Among the curbs, the SMC has directed companies to deploy only 50 per cent of their workforce at a time, trading markets are allowed to remain open from 2 pm to 6 pm, and in the factory only one polisher will sit on a single emery wheel.

Talking to The Indian Express, association secretary Babubhai Vidiya said, “The rules are so strict that it has become difficult for the industry to function. We have got complaints and requests from the industry people for relaxations in SOPs. We urge the administration to increase the timing of trading markets and allow two persons on a wheel.”

Pani said, “Rules have been laid because the district has been witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases. If the number goes down, we will think about relaxations in SOPs.”

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