Many units functioning at 70% capacity as COVID-19 wreaks havoc
Industries in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts are struggling to function at full capacity due to reduced manpower in the wake of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
Though the State government has allowed a majority of industries to continue production, both major and medium industries are struggling to rotate their employees and labourers in three shifts. There are 35 major and 300 small- and medium-scale industries in the two districts.
Many industries are learnt to be operating only with 70% of their manpower. Over 800 employees and workers of Pydibhimavaram-Pusapatirega industrial zone have tested positive in the last three weeks. The spurt in cases has led to panic, with many employees deciding to stay away from work by availing long leave.
Lack of transport facilities for labourers from nearby towns and village has also become another obstacle for companies in ensuring sufficient manpower at their respective units.
“We requested employees to work for 12 hours instead of eight. They are being paid extra wages and incentives. Somehow, production is continuing without any obstacle so far,” said a senior executive of a company at Pusapatirega in Vizianagaram district.
As per the government’s orders issued on May 5, the industries involved in manufacturing of essential items can operate round-the-clock. Other industries should use manpower only for a single shift and workers should be relieved by 2 p.m. Industries involved in construction activity will have to function only in single shift so that workers would be able to reach home early.
The industries were advised to submit self-certification while providing details about workers and shift timings to the General Managers District Industrial Centre-Srikakulam. The Industries Department will ensure permission for vehicles and their movement even during curfew hours.
“We directed all industries to follow COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing at their respective units. The units have to communicate to the Industries Department about the steps being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said B. Gopala Krishna, general manager of the Srikakulam district industrial centre.
CITU State vice-president D. Govinda Rao asked factories to give special risk allowance and ₹50 lakh insurance coverage for
all the staff. He also insisted on transport facility being provided to labourers as buses were being operated only for executives and employees.
Source: Read Full Article