By Times of India – Industries looking to reopen hit by lack of raw material, workers Gurgaon: City-based industries, looking to pick up their operations stalled during the lockdown, are staring at multiple challenges all at once. Not only are they grappling with a shortage of workers and raw material, but also stringent border curbs that restrict movement. Moreover, they need to adapt and strictly adhere to social distancing norms and ensure hygiene. More than 300 industries in Gurgaon and Manesar have received permission from the government to resume, with riders, but only a few have started functioning. The new standard operating procedures make several practices mandatory for employers and employees — wearing of masks, sanitising hands, periodic fumigation and arranging stay for workers at manufacturing plants or pick-up and drop facilities. Industrialists said they are finding it difficult to operate as many of their workers have left for home. The garment sector in Udyog Vihar, in particular, has been hit due to the ban on movement between Gurgaon and Delhi. Lakhs of workers live across the border in Kapashera and are finding it difficult to cross over. “We’re bracing ourselves to resume operations according to the guidelines set by the Union ministry of home affairs, but now the restrictions on the Delhi border will make it even more difficult to get workers to plants,” said Animesh Saxena from Udyog Vihar Industries Association. “A few companies have resumed operations and some workers have started going to work. A large chunk of workers live across the border in Kapashera. But even with passes provided by employers, they are being questioned by police. Workers don’t wish to go to work as they fear being beaten up by cops,” said Gama Prasad, a worker with a garment manufacturing unit in Udyog Vihar. Industries in Manesar are feeling the pinch, too. “While most of our staff is living onsite, some people in managerial roles are from Delhi and nearby areas and can’t come,” said an HR manager with a manufacturing unit in Sector 6, IMT Manesar. Meanwhile, workers and employers are both adjusting to the new conditions. Kuldeep (22), an employee of Geeken Seating Collection Pvt Ltd, which makes furniture items like hospital beds and chairs in Manesar, hasn’t been home for a few days as he’s staying in the company’s premises. “We get three meals a day and masks, and regular screening is done. But it’s tough living away from our families,” he said. The company’s owner, KN Pandey, said there were challenges of lean demand, supply chain issues and the unavailability of raw material. “We had mattresses for the hospital beds coming in from Chandigarh, but they were stopped on the way. This disrupted our order for the Delhi government,” said Pandey. Pawan Kumar Yadav, who heads the IMT Manesar Industrial Association, said many companies, despite getting nod, had chosen not to restart. “When bigger companies like Maruti and Honda aren’t resuming operations, smaller ones will certainly have apprehensions. Even those who have started are facing a lot of trouble,” he said. In Gurgaon, Bacati Asia, a garment company that manufactures baby bedding, pillows and other accessories, is finding it tough to meet orders from clients. “Since we export our items to the US, which hasn’t shut down e-commerce for non-essential items, we have some orders from clients. But we are forced to meet the deadlines with constrained resources as we are working with only 18 workers, instead of 200,” its owner Dimple Agarwal said. She said that since they are producing baby products, they have to be even more careful. “We’re carrying out fumigation every four hours and workers are sanitising their hands every hour,” she said. Some say supplies are depleting. “None of our vendors are working, so we will produce goods as long as the raw material lasts. But once the stock is over, production will be halted,” said Pradeep Rawat, manager, Orient Fashions Exports Pvt Ltd. DownloadThe Times of India News App for Latest City NewsSubscribeStart Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper! Order Now

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