Monday Apr 20, 2020
Sindh government on Monday sealed three industrial units in Karachi for violating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the provincial authorities to ensure safe workplaces during the lockdown.
The action was taken by Deputy Commissioner District Korangi. Two pharmaceutical companies and one tea-packing company were sealed after the owners were found violating directives of the authorities regarding the transportation of employees to work premises, spokesman Murtaza Wahab said.
Wahab said anybody found flouting the SOPs would be dealt with strictly under the law.
Although the provincial government had issued directives about maintaining social distancing, the spokesman said that a large number of employees were boarded on buses provided by these companies where especially women were being transported in crowded vans.
“The business fraternity should avoid the misuse of facilities provided to them amid lockdown,” Wahab maintained, adding that the factory owners should adhere to the orders issued by Sindh government and medical experts as the province witnesses surging cases for coronavirus.
In response, President Korangi Association Sheikh Omar Rehan said that industrialists are being harassed in the name of SOPs.
“We will shut down industries if tightening is not stopped,” said Rehan, adding that the economy will change if the importance of industries is not realised, especially in these times of crisis.
Last week, Sindh government issued SOPs to be adopted by the persons and business-concerns that are specifically permitted to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SOPs are applied to all activities related to food/agriculture, medicine/health, and such other related activities declared as essential for day-to-day life during the pandemic have been specifically allowed by the government.
The SOPs are applied to all such individuals, businesses/workplaces such as offices, shops, sale points, manufacturing/processing units, factories, mills, stores/warehouses or any place of business and work.
— Whichever business or workplace is allowed to work shall engage/hire/contract a vehicle for transporting their employees to and hack from the workplace or the employees/staff/workers can travel individually on motor-cycle or private cars as instructed under general instruction.
— The designated vehicle shall be intimated at the office of the DC, SSP and Labour Department, with a detailed description of the vehicle i.e. make, registration number model, capacity and colour. Moreover, the details like names and CNIC number of Driver and the Passengers is to be logged in register to be maintained for the purpose.
— Only such vehicles for workers shall be allowed to ply on the roads that have been approved by the IX(s) concerned in coordination with the SSP(s) who shall maintain such list.
— Such transport vehicle shall not carry Passengers more than one-third of its maximum capacity for the purposes of ensuring social distancing.
— It shall also be ensured that all the passengers while boarding and disembarking a vehicle, shall maintain well-spaced queue maintaining a distance of over 3 feet/one meter all the time.
— It shall be ensured that the passengers sitting in the vehicle are at least one meter apart front one another.
— The said vehicle shall be designated with a banner pasted/displayed at a visible place describing the name of the company/office/industry with its location.
— The vehicle shall carry a banner with specific instructions related to preventive measures for COVID-I9 infection.
— It shall be the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that all persons inside the vehicle wear protective face masks all the time while travelling.
— While travelling to and from the factory, the driver shall ensure that doors and windows are opened and vehicle properly ventilated.
— The vehicle shall be disinfected by using recommended disinfectant spray and washed clean at-least-once daily.