Industrial production in Mysuru is yet to pick up despite the lockdown curbs that had been largely eased to facilitate resumption of normal operations.
Shortage of labour and raw materials besides liquidity crunch are among the reasons cited for the operations in small and medium industries not gaining much pace.
Industry representatives here said about 40-45 per cent of units had resumed operations with limited workforce but uncertainty looms large over their fate post-lockdown with many facing hurdles in restoring full-fledged operations.
Some industries went slow, awaiting the stimulus announced by the Centre. Some major industries are in their preoperative phase, double checking safety and other parameters since the units had reopened after a gap of nearly two months. In the wake of Vizag gas leak tragedy, some large industries with effluent treatment plants are evaluating the safety functions before resuming production, a source in the Industries Department said.
Many medium and large industries in Nanjangud had resumed production since the first week of May. Movement of employees and workers to their units had been eased immediately after the lockdown curbs had been lifted, making way for smooth resumption of production in the town, which was a COVID-19 cluster.
Mysuru Industries Association Secretary Suresh Kumar Jain said migrant workers departure has caused labour shortage, eventually affecting routine operations. Another reason for slow resumption of industries was shortage of raw materials and funds.
Thanks to the protracted lockdown, many units are short of funds to source men and material, he said, adding that normal operations may take at last six more months.
On the exit of migrants, he said the industries had employed over 50,000 migrant workers and many have returned to their homes after special trains were arranged. Some went on their own while some stayed put and have returned to work. But their number was small. They had received aid from the industries, he added.
Rising cost of transportation of raw materials had forced some units to hold the production for few more days, another industrialist said. A few of them are mulling over selling their units over continued uncertainty, he said.
Mysuru district has 38,810 industries, including 22,641 manufacturing industries, employing as many as 3.30 lakh people.
Joint Director of Industries Lingaraju told The Hindu that more than half of industries had resumed production and remaining ones are expected to start their operations soon. Those who have not resumed are making sure the operations go smooth, checking all safety features before recommencement.
Over 15,000 industries have declared that their units had taken all safety precautions in view of COVID-19 pandemic and also in the light of gas leak tragedy in Vishakapatnam and are production ready.
Besides the Industries Department, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Department of Factories and Boilers are inspecting the units for checking the safety norms and implementation of governments SOPs on COVID-19 for the safety of the workforce.