Factories shut in Baddi area

Factories shut in Baddi area

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, March 23

Industrial units in the bordering clusters of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh and Parwanoo in Solan district closed their manufacturing operations today after announcement of a total lockdown by the state government.

Though pharmaceutical units and continuous process industries have been exempted from these orders, a large number of such units voluntarily shut their operations.

Pharma companies like Coat and Coat Pharmacare, Win Cure Pharma, Forgo Pharmaceuticals, Elegant India Overseas, Ozone pharmaceuticals, Ozone Ayurvedic have opted for voluntary shutdown as workforce engaged in activities like packaging, operating machines, loading, unloading, etc. did not turn up in view of the Covid-19 scare, informed industry sources.

They added that the migrant workers engaged in these activities had left for their native states and they were facing paucity of workers.

The series of advisories issued by the state government has created confusion in the industry. As per directions issued on March 21, industries could engage 50 per cent of their employees in manufacturing activities while remaining were supposed to operate from home.

After these directions, a sizeable chunk of the workforce turned up from the neighrbouring states like Haryana and Punjab today. They were supposed to stay back in the respective areas as per government directions issued on Saturday but have to leave today as per the latest orders. With curfew having been imposed in Punjab and movement of vehicles being restricted in Haryana, those who turned up for work were stuck in Himachal.

Advisor, Himachal Drug Manufacturers Association, SL Singla said since little time was available to plan manufacturing activities in view of the constraints, several manufacturers had voluntarily closed their operations.

He added that even workers were reluctant to report to work as despite braving the risk, they were not getting any extra remuneration. The situation has been aggravated with transportation of raw materials as well as finished goods also being stuck.

Manufacturers who were, however, making sanitisers like Morepen Labs in Baddi, however, managed to arrange accommodation for their senior staff of 30 executives each for their two plants at Baddi and Parwanoo. General Manager, Morepen Labs, Pramod Chandra said since the workers were local residents, they would manage to operate their plants which manufacture bulk drugs and sanitisers.

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