Covid-19 lockdown: UP defers manufacturing reboot in top industrial hubs

Reviewing a meeting here, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath instructed officials for strict implementation of the lockdown to contain any prospective spread of coronavirus . Photo: PTI
Even as the central government had allowed for the conditional restarting of select industrial activities from Monday, the Uttar Pradesh government has deferred this relaxation in 19 districts, which have reported more than 10 coronavirus cases.

Notably, these 19 districts include nearly all the major industrial hubs of UP - Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida), Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Moradabad, Shamli, Bulandshahr, Firozabad, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Basti, Hapur, Bijnore, Sitapur, Rampur and Amroha.

The resumption of the industrial activities in the remaining 56 districts would also be under the vigil for adhering to the social distancing and lockdown norms. The respective district administrations are mandated for ensuring there is no breach of the central government guidelines.

Only the manufacturing activities subject to the maximum 50 per cent of total workforce in individual units have been allowed, while the commercial and secretarial offices of these companies cannot function in the meantime.

Reviewing a meeting here, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath instructed officials for strict implementation of the lockdown to contain any prospective spread of coronavirus.

“The CM has issued directions for preparing a roadmap for strengthening the state’s economy and restarting work on expressway projects,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media here this evening.

“Those units which have the provision of housing their labour within the manufacturing unit premises would be allowed to function, barring the 19 districts, which would continue to observe lockdown,” he added.

He informed the work on the Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway and Gorakhpur Link Expressway would also start soon after the medical checkup of the workers has been completed. These projects are collectively estimated to cost more than Rs 42,000 crore.

Meanwhile, the CM has directed the committee headed by the UP agricultural production commissioner (APC) to hasten the work on preparing the roadmap for providing local jobs to more than half a million migrant labourers, who were forced to return to their native state.“The committee is expected to hold a meeting later today in this regard,” Awasthi informed.

The committee also comprises the principal secretaries of the departments of rural development, panchayati raj, skill development and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and it will draw up a blueprint for creating jobs under UP’s flagship one district, one product (ODOP) scheme, and facilitate credit through the bank loan melas in the state. It will offer suggestions for creating employment opportunities in other industries as well after the lockdown is lifted.

Meanwhile, Adityanath has instructed officials for ensuring adequate supply of masks, gloves, personal protection equipment (PPE) kits etc for the frontline doctors, health workers and police.

The government has decided to set up coronavirus testing labs at all the state medical colleges and government hospitals in districts, which still lack such critical facilities.

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