Espousing the cause of MSME units in and around Tiruchi, BHEL Small Industries Association has urged the district administration to allot a portion of oxygen to ensure at least partial functioning of the units.
There were about 450 MSME units in the region providing direct employment to 40,000 workers for manufacture of boiler components, sugar plant equipment and for export projects. The manufacturing units were also undertaking maintenance works of oxygen plants, oxygen cylinders and LPG cylinders.
For these industries, oxygen is the main basic requirement without which they cannot start work. “To save the livelihood of employees working with us, we have to necessarily operate the industries at least to 25 to 35% of the capacity which will help us to pay a minimum portion of the salary to enable them to take care of their critical requirements,” BHELSIA president Rajappa Rajkumar said in an appeal to the district administration.
In a letter to District Collector S. Divyadarshini, the BHELSIA president said that though the importance of oxygen to save patients was understandable, diversion of the entire stock for medical purpose will derail the functioning of industries.
“Hence, we humbly request you to consider the importance of our employees and allot at least a portion of oxygen for industrial purpose which will help in a big way for the survival of the promoters and their employees,” Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar said in the letter.
Further, in the context of the two-week lockdown, BHELSIA units were in need of clarification if they were categorised under the Essential Services sector, for continuing with manufacturing operations.
As the units were manufacturing essential boiler components required for the power and food sector and also maintenance and manufacturing of oxygen containers and LPG cylinders, the letter said.
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