June 13, 2024


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Coronavirus: Industries in Maharashtra struggle after opening, cite lack of workers

Industries in Maharashtra continue to struggle even as they were allowed to reopen businesses under relaxed ‘Unlock 1” guidelines.

All major industries and businesses in Maharashtra said they are facing major hurdles due to unavailability of workers, who went home during the lockdown.

Since workers are not available, cash-strapped industries are now staring at a fresh problem.

India Today TV visited recently spoke to a few businesses to understand the fresh labour crisis they are facing.

Jagjit Singh, the owner of NS Industries, said he only has four workers available with him as compared to the earlier strength of 25 workers.

Jagjit Singh, owner of NS Industries in Maharashtra.

Singh said most of the people working under him were migrant labourers and all have them have left.

Workers scared

“Most of the migrant workers have left. We provided them with three months salary but they are very scared. I continuously talk to them on phone; they want to come but not now, because they are very scared,” Singh said.

“They say once this coronavirus is over from Mumbai, they will come back that time. Right now the workers which are available, we are providing them, stay, transportation,” he added.

Singh went on to say that he brings food for workers from home. For transportation, he provides them vehicles.

“The food for workers is brought from my home. For transportation I provide my vehicle to them, I use my own vehicle for pick up and drop. The business is badly affected due labour issue. I am telling them that I will provide tickets for them and provide everything else but they are very scared and not willing to come back. Only 30 per cent business is happening,” Singh added.

India Today TV went to another industrial area in Thane where the famous Prashant Corner Food factory is located. It has over six outlets and all of them reopened after the restrictions were relaxed. While all guidelines are being followed, not everything is back to normal for Prashant Corner Food Factory.

Prashant Sakpal, the owner of Prashant Corner Food Factory, says the business is facing severe hurdles due to lack of workers.

The factory has several manufacturing units where over 100 workers used to work at any given time. However, only 10 people are working at one such manufacturing unit that India Today TV visited.

All other workers left during the prolonged lockdown and the factory is now facing severe difficulties in scaling up production.

Prashant Sakpal, the owner, said, “Lot has changed after lockdown. The major problem is migrant workers. I had over 600 people working in my company now around 100 have left,” he said.

“Luckily few workers stayed back and right now they are working. I am looking after their stay and food properly. This directly affects my business. Even as there is demand but workers are not available,” he added.

“When lockdown started I personally provided transport and sent them to their village. I provide food kits and salary, now they don’t want to come back at this moment due to coronavirus fear.”

Sakpal added that his business has been badly affected as only 10 to 20 per cent of his business is up and running. “Hopefully things change soon,” he said.

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