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Relax travel curbs, industry to govt

Panaji: The Goan industry on Monday sought relaxation in travel norms  during the ongoing  lockdown period. The number of passengers in a car are limited to two and no pillion riders are allowed on two-wheelers.

Pointing out to the impracticality of the rules, industrial unit owners said that several employees do not own a vehicle or a two-wheeler and are dropped by their co-workers to their workplaces.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, a unit owner said that employees are finding it difficult to go to work in the absence of  public transport buses due to the nationwide lockdown.

“The rule is also not feasible for women employees who do not know how to drive or ride but are dropped to their office by their husbands,” he argued.

The unit owners, who resumed operations on Monday, said that they are working at about 30 per cent capacity. They said that they are working with less staff due to the social distancing norms to prevent coronavirus infection.

The local industry reacted positively to the state government’s efforts in issuing travel passes and permitting the units to operate during the lockdown period.

“The government has worked very promptly and round-the-clock in issuing travel passes. Thanks to getting travel passes on time the units are able to start functioning on the first day of the lockdown relaxation. However, the travel norms  needs to be relaxed slightly so as to make it practical,” said an official in the GCCI.

He said the government must allow at least three passengers to travel in a car and permit pillion riders on two-wheelers. 

The state has about 4,500 industrial units with 3-3.5 lakh workers operating in 23 industrial estates.

To facilitate revival of economic activity, the government has permitted industrial units to start operations during the ongoing lockdown, viz. from April 20 to May 3.

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