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Uddhav Thackeray urges industry to follow COVID-19 rules, says 'help Maharashtra set an example in running units during pandemic'

11:06 PM Jun 06, 2021 | Sanjay Jog

Urging industry representatives to follow Covid rules during the lockdown if they didn’t want a knockdown, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray exhorted them to set an example in the country that Maharashtra’s industry has operated with complete care even during the pandemic.

“We don't want both - lockdown and knockdown, so we should follow all Covid-related protocols,” said Thackeray on Sunday, in an interaction with leading industrialists. “We are taking a calculated risk while unlocking, so be careful. The government has not relaxed all curbs and opened up all activities at one time. There are some criteria and levels that have been set for unlocking. At the local level, the district administration will decide how much to relax or tighten restrictions,” he noted.

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RPG Group Chairman Harsh Goenka, who participated at the interaction, dubbed as ‘very sensible and scientific’, graded opening of the lockdown from Monday. “The Maharashtra model is worth emulating by all states. CM Thackeray has put it across very well today - it’s a balance between lockdown and knockdown - the disease has to be contained and the economy has also to prosper,” he said.

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“The government has expanded Covid care centres but we feared that some of the facilities would be inadequate. There was a shortage of oxygen but all the big companies cooperated with us for making it available,” said Thackeray.

He asked the industry majors to maintain a health record of construction workers as well as workers from outside the state in various industries in the state. “They should not spread the Covid virus on their way to and from their state, and also, keep track of their family members,” he said.

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Further, he said workers should be kept in isolation after coming from abroad, and should be examined. “As the monsoon has already begun, epidemics can spread, so see to it that your workers and other employees follow the rules properly,” he added.

Industry representatives assured that they would collaborate with the state government to create a framework which encouraged smaller industries to adopt safe practices and ensure that they were as much protected as the workplace of a larger organisation. They suggested that it was important to modularise and create an approach for residential entities, to make sure that people from safe workplaces were also safe at the residence level as well, to completely break the chain of virus transmission.

The industrialists made a strong case for vaccination, saying that the decentralisation and easy availability of vaccines at workplaces, homes, societies and panchayats would greatly help inoculate a large section of the population. They urged the government for greater awareness about the new levels of lockdown and to fine-tune flexibility if needed, after its implementation.

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