Local industrialists are feeling the absence of migrant workers who left the city when the lockdown was announced and are now scouting for talent and labour.
However, some of the industrial units that maintained contact with their trained workforce, have brought some of their former employees back.
Almost eight months after the lockdown came into effect on March 25, 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19, the manufacturing sector is gaining steam but is far from reaching normalcy.
Suresh Kumar Jain, Secretary, Mysore Industries Association, said that the workforce is one of the issues while the lack of adequate orders is another. However, most factories are functioning at 60% to 70% of their installed capacity and are bracing for new orders as the economy gains traction.
He said there were at least a few industrial units that maintained contact with their employees who left the city during the lockdown, and brought them back to Mysuru. I know of a few industrial units whose management paid flight charges to get some of their key workers back to Mysuru from the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, said Mr. Jain.
The bulk of the manufacturing units in Mysuru revolves around the automobile sector and the city has emerged as a hub for ancillary units. With the automobile sector witnessing a steady growth owing to robust sales, the ancillary units too have gathered steam.
The MIA said though most units are still maintaining a two-shift operation due to lack of workforce and orders, many of the medium and large scale units have reintroduced three shifts which is a sign of recovery.
Hence, there is a general consensus that the Railways should start operating passenger services with adequate precautionary measures so that the migrant workers can travel. Though the battle against the pandemic is far from over, livelihood issues too cannot be compromised and workers will feel the economic pinch to overcome which employment was a must. But their job opportunities are being hampered due to lack of mobility in the absence of transportation, said Mr. Jain.
Additional train services
Meanwhile, senior officials in the South Western Railway said on conditions of anonymity that the SWR has proposed to reintroduce additional 26 trains connecting different parts of the State with the rest of the country as part of the graded unlocking.
The Railway Board recently sounded off all the zonal headquarters seeking a list of trains that they wished to re-introduce following which 26 trains were identified. The date of commencement of services will be announced in due course, the officials added.