Gujarat: Govt permits industries making essential commodities to operate amid 57-hr curfew

The notification issued by the Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad city on Friday, states that industrial units manufacturing essential items, pharmaceutical firms and those having “continuous processes” will continue to function during the curfew that ends at 6 am on November 23.

Gujarat government has permitted a large number of industrial units engaged in production of essential commodities like pharmaceuticals or having “continuous processes” like textiles and chemicals to continue operations during the 57-hour-long curfew in Ahmedabad city.

The notification issued by the Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad city on Friday, states that industrial units manufacturing essential items, pharmaceutical firms and those having “continuous processes” will continue to function during the curfew that ends at 6 am on November 23.

Ahmedabad has about five GIDCs — Vatva, Narol, Odhav, Kathwada and Naroda. They have an estimated 3,000 odd industrial units most of which are MSMEs dealing with textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineering. Apart from this, the city also has an

Apparel Park SEZ (Special Economic Zone) within the city limits.

Earlier on Friday, the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had requested the state government representatives in the city to allow operations of industrial units like chemicals, textiles and pharmaceuticals that have “continuous processes” or fall under the “essential” category.

“We had requested the government to permit industrial units to remain open, especially the units having continuous processes like chemicals and textiles or are producing essential items like pharmaceuticals. The employees working in these units should be allowed to commute with their employee identity cards,” said Pathik Patwari, honorary secretary of GCCI.

“This is important as the declaration of curfew was too short a notice to curtail or cut down ongoing production,” he added. Pathik said certain industrial processes like furnace operations, distillation process in chemical units, etc cannot be immediately brought to a halt. GCCI officials however agreed that it would be difficult trying to explain to the policemen on field about the nature of the industries that have been permitted to function during the curfew.

The government in the notification has permitted operations of vehicles carrying goods.

GCCI also sought exemption for staff buses carrying employees to and fro from industrial clusters located outside Ahmedabad city limits like Sanand, Santej, Changodar, Chattral and others. “There is no clarity from the government as to how employees from Ahmedabad city will make it to industrial clusters like Sanand during the curfew. Every day over 4,000 employees come to Sanand GIDC from Ahmedabad in staff buses. If we include the employees of Ford Motors and Tata Motors, then this number goes up to over 8,000. Secondly, most of the owners of the industrial units in Sanand live in Ahmedabad,” said Ajit Shah, president of Sanand Industrial Association.

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation that supplies milk across the state said there won’t be any short supply of milk or milk products and it will supply 10 per cent more milk during these two days.

Meanwhile, in a separate direction to oil marketing companies, the Ahmedabad office of Food and Civil Supplies department has permitted the functioning of petrol pumps and distribution of LPG cylinders in the city.

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