The COVID-19 situation is currently in its worst form. With more than 2 lakh affected cases in a single day, the government is imposing partial lockdowns across the country to contain the spread of the virus. Tata Motors is already operating with a limited workforce at its Pune plant where the Harrier and the Safari are manufactured.
The Pune plant that produces cars based on the OMEGA-Arc like the Harrier and the Safari will operate with limited staff. The same plant also manufactures Tata buses and trucks. Tata has announced the new strategy after receiving Maharashtra government guidelines on COVID-19.
Tata Motors released a statement saying,
“Tata Motors is running operations at its Pune plant in strict compliance with the guidelines mentioned in the ‘Break the Chain’ order of the Maharashtra government. A limited number of employees are attending duties adhering to all safety protocols, distancing norms and hygiene standards”,
“We continue to remain vigilant about the safety and wellbeing of our employees. In addition to mandated testing, screening at plant gates is robust and if a symptomatic case is identified, we ensure that the employee is isolated and provided with all support for quarantine and contact tracing thereafter. Our medical teams have also begun vaccination drives in our plants by collaborating with local health authorities, for our eligible employees of age 45 years and above”,
The new operation strategy will definitely hit the production. Both the vehicles – Harrier and the newly launched Tata Safari are high in demand in the Indian market. There is already a waiting period on the Safari, which is likely to increase in the coming weeks. Currently, there is a waiting period of around 2.5 months in a few cities depending on the variant and the colour option of the vehicle.
Tata Motors, in a letter on 14th April, said that the management has taken a call to shut down the vehicle manufacturing operations in the Pune plant. This came into effect from 15th April and the plant will remain shut till April 30. Tata Motors wrote the letter to the MIDC police station in Bhosari, Pune.
Earlier sought permission
Earlier, Tata Motors had sought permission from the local police to allow ferrying of its employees for maintaining essential services within the plant. The services included items for dispensary, diesel generator set operation, fire fighting, water supplies, 22 KV substation, security vigilance and effluent treatment plants.
Pune, which is home to many manufacturing plants is the worst affected district in Maharashtra. It has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases and as per PIB, Pune district alone had 112,213 active cases with additional 7,887 new cases tested positive on the 14th. The Maharashtra government has announced new guidelines for the manufacturing sector that allows industries to operate but with a limited workforce.
The Pune district is a major automobile hub and various manufacturers like Bajaj, Jeep, Mahindra and Mahindra Skoda, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, Piaggio and Force Motors. There are quite a few heavy equipment manufacturers in the district as well.