The Maharashtra government has allowed power loom units outside containment zones in the state to resume operations. The directive passed on Thursday, 21 May, comes just days after CM Uddhav Thackeray stated that economic activity will gradually be opened up in the green and orange zones of the state.
While allowing the power loom sector to begin operations, the government has also added a few rules for the industries.
“It will be ensured that all persons involved in the transport of goods are medically examined and do not show any Influenza like Illness (ILI). Also, no person from containment zone shall be permitted to work in these establishments. Further all norms of social distancing and precautions as prescribed shall be followed.”
This move could definitely bring some relief to the power loom sector, especially in Bhiwandi district that has around 6 lakh power loom units. But with most power looms dependant on migrant workers, it’s unlikely that work will resume normally anytime soon.
Thousands of migrants have been registering for trains, taking buses and some have even opted to walk back home from Bhiwandi since the lockdown began.
Since entering the fourth phase of the lockdown, directives with regards to easing and imposing restrictions have been issued by the state government directly. Maharashtra has recorded over 41,600 COVID-19 cases so far. At least 25,500 cases out of these were recorded in Mumbai.