After 15 diamond polishers in Surat tested positive in last two days in Katargam zone of the city, Surat Municipal Corporation officials carried out a surprise check in eight diamond factories Wednesday and penalised three of them for violating Covid-19 guidelines.
District administration noticed a rise in the number of Covid-19 positive patients from Katargam zone area. On checking the history of such patients, they found that some of them were working in diamond factories. On Tuesday, out of total 20 positive patients from Katargam zone, five turned out to be diamond workers, while the next day, out of 22 patients, 11 were found to be working in diamond factories. These patients are undergoing treatment in New Civil hospital, while their family members have been quarantined. The fire department officials have sanitised the factory premises.
Amrut Gems, Bhagwati Gems and Shreejee diamonds have been penalised for violating guidelines.
Katargam Zone Executive Engineer R M Gamit said, “In Amrut Gems, our staffers found that no social distancing was being maintained. There were around 200 workers in the factory and on a single emery-wheel, four polishers were seating close to each other. None of them were wearing masks. Besides, the company had not made arrangement of sanitizers. Our team slapped a penalty notice of Rs 20,000 on them. It will be collected in a few days.”
“Similar violations were found in the other two factories. Our teams have recovered penalty amount of Rs 20,000 from each factory owners. We also took undertakings from them that they will follow the guidelines,” he added. Following the incident, Katargam Zone head D M Patel on Thursday called a meeting with 30 diamond factory owners.
Patel said, “The factory owners agreed to follow guidelines. We will wait for a few more days, and again conduct surprise checking. Very few powerloom factories are also operational in Katargam zone. We have found that they are also not following Covid-19 guidelines.”
Municipal commissioner B N Pani said, “We have been appealing to people to follow guidelines. If the factories fail to abide by the rules, we will be forced to shut them. We will prepare list of such factories and make it public.“ The diamond jewellery market in Hong Kong has opened and demands have picked up to meet Christmas sale.
Chairman of Gujarat unit of the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council Dinesh Navadia said, “The diamond factory owners have faced a great loss during lockdown. In this industry, Christmas is a lucrative time, and demands pick up from May onwards. The factory owners are working hard to meet the demands with available workforce.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines