As the Delhi government on Wednesday issued detailed guidelines on allowing industrial and in situ construction works during lockdown, including compulsory download of Aarogya Setu app, confusion persisted over the opening of units manufacturing non-essential goods.
The guidelines were issued by district magistrates that prescribed among other things, downloading of "Arogya Setu" mobile application by all workers and employees for alerts on proximity of coronavirus positive people.
"Delhi Industries Minister Satyendar Jain in a meeting with representatives of industries in the city, organised by AAP Trade Wing, said all industries having "access control" can start work," Brijesh Goyal, convener of AAP Trade Wing, said.
The guidelines issued by the district magistrates (or chairmen of respective District Disaster Management Authority-DDMA) prescribed social distancing, use of hand wash, sanitisers and face masks, no handshakes and sharing of food and other personal items by workers and employees, thermal screening and facility of isolation in case any worker or employee developed symptoms of coronavirus infection.
Some industry representatives, however, expressed concern over "lack of clarity" in the guidelines, saying they would wait till the lockdown is lifted.
"It is not mentioned in the guidelines that all kinds of industries can open. It mentions only those units manufacturing essential activities. We will have to wait for clear orders before opening the units," Ashok Gupta, president of Udyog Nagar Industry Association, said.
Mayapuri Industrial Area general secretary RO Gupta said the guidelines permit opening of urban industrial establishments, including special economic zones (SEZs), export oriented units (EOUs) with access control, and those units manufacturing essential goods.
"Mayapuri and some other industrial areas are neither SEZs nor EOUs. They also do not have any access control. So, there is no option before us but to wait for the lockdown to be lifted," he said.
Dismissing any kind of confusion, Mr Goyal said the "doubt" over opening of factories in Delhi is over.
"Most of the industries in Delhi barring those concerning essential goods were closed because the district magistrates refused permission to them. But the industries minister today said that all kinds of essential and non-essential industries with access control can be run in industrial areas in Delhi as per the MHA guidelines," he said.
Delhi has 28 notified industrial areas besides at least 23 such areas that are notified under redevelopment and do not have access control i.e. permitting regulated entry and exit.
Mr Goyal said the industries minister has asked all district authorities to issue clear guidelines so that production units can start work.
The construction activities in the city resumed with the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi government taking up work on major infrastructure projects, including a tunnel for diversion of traffic on Mathura Road, Barapullah elevated corridor and a couple of flyovers, officials said.
The work started after taking all the precautions like sanitisation of the sites and equipment, and ensuring personal safety measures for workers and engineers at work, they added.