National

Lockdown 2.0: Partial opening of businesses in Gujarat as govt relaxes rules

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on April 20, 2020 Published on April 20, 2020

File photo   -  Vijay Soneji

Most businesses in corporation limits remain shut, while industries in rural areas allowed to function

The Gujarat government on Monday informed that as many as 4,000 industrial units have resumed operations in the State following the relaxations in the lockdown guidelines from April 20.

Ashwani Kumar, Secretary to the Chief Minister, informed that a large number of industries and commercial activities have been given approval to resume operations from Monday. “These include industries located in the districts of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Kutch, Morbi, Bharuch and Ankleshwar among others. The relaxations for the industry are subject to the Union Government’s conditions on safety measures,” said Kumar.

 

Per the information, about 700 units in Ahmedabad district, 600 in Rajkot district, 200 in Vadodara, 750 in Kutch, 400 in Morbi and 450 in Bharuch have resumed operations from Monday.

These include the non-essential manufacturing activities such as ceramic and tile manufacturing, automobile, chemicals, plastics among others.

Among the prominent players, chemicals majors GHCL Ltd has commenced production at its soda ash plants in Gujarat, while on the other hand Navin Fluorine International Ltd, SRF and Sun Pharma among other 374 units in Bharuch districts have started operations. Ahmedabad-based AIA Engineering Ltd, too, has resumed operations.

Others such as Deepak Nitrite Limited, DCM Shriram Ltd, Atul Ltd and Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals Ltd have partially resumed operations.

Containment zones

Meanwhile, the Gujarat Heath Department had released a list of containment zones or hotspots, where the business activities cannot be carried out. There are 127 such containment zones across the State covering eight Municipal Corporation areas, and 162 town civic bodies.

However, the State government has allowed self-employed persons such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, motor mechanics among others to function.

The Government has decided to form committees at district levels under the leadership of District Collector and other stakeholders as its members including local in-charge of the industrial development board, labour officer, health officer, factory inspector, in the municipal corporation areas, a deputy municipal commissioner and an officer from district industrial centre.

Guidelines for factories

The standard guideline for the industries include conducting thermal screening of the people at the establishment, compulsory mask, adequate facilities for sanitisation and social distancing, staggered lunch time, staggered entry and exit time and crowd management.

Also, the owners/management of the organisation has to ensure that no person from the identified clusters or quarantined areas joins for work.

The State government also clarified that violation of any of the standard operating procedures will lead to suspension of the approval for operations and the particular unit will be forced to shut.

Meanwhile, several industries and the industrial associations have expressed concerns over stringent safety rules of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. In one such instance, Nandesari Industries Association in Vadodara district have raised concerns on the SME and small units’ inability to make stay arrangements for the workers. Also, considering logistics issue and the risk factor to the workers’ health and life, the Association announced closure of operations till May 3.

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Published on April 20, 2020
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