Raigad DM Allows JSW Steel Factory to Function Amid Lockdown, Locals Infuriated

The locals have complained to Chief Minister that the factory is functioning with all shifts even during the lockdown after the DM Nidhi Chaudhary allowed them to get back to work.

Raigad| Raigad DM Nidhi Chaudhary has come under heavy fire for her alleged address to workers from the JSW steel factory located in Dolwi of Pen in Raigad district, in which she asked them to get back to the work since they cannot return to their hometowns amid lockdown.

Maharashtra has been under a strict lockdown with section 144 in place, which makes any mass gathering punishable under the Indian Penal Code.

Whereas, according to sources, the Raigad DM with Sub-divisional Magistrate and Executive Magistrate, gathered the workers in Vadkhal of Pen in violation of section 144 and asked them to get back to work. She also mentioned that the factory has permissions to work as it is an essential company claiming Iron and Steel falls into essential commodities.

Sources say, that workers of the factory have complained that they are made to work under pressure putting their lives at threat without providing them with adequate safety gear in light of the coronavirus spread.

The locals have said that the company is working with the support of administration putting the lives of many in the area at risk.

The residents of Navegaon, Vave-Vadhkal, Dolwi, Gadab, and Shahabaj with the local Gram Panchayats have written a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about the same.

In this letter, the residents have claimed, ” The biggest steel Factory in Maharastra, JSW, is still functioning with full capacity. Around 5000-7000 people work in every shift of the company, whereas 5000 people work in the general shift. All these workers come from Panvel, Kharghar, Chembur, Vashi, Belapur, Dombivali, Alibaug, etc. If any of them in the future gets infected with the virus, then it can get spread in the district very rapidly and can threaten the lives of residents of Raigad district. We request you to immediately stop the factory.”

Meanwhile, Raigad DM Nidhi Chaudhary’s video while addressing the workers has surfaced, in which she could be heard inquiring about their well-being. She further adds that steel is an essential industry and thus it cannot be shut down. She also said that the company has an essentiality certificate from the Indian government. She also informed that there are 340 other industries in the district that are functional.

“Just like the consumption of food is necessary, working is necessary as well,” Chaudhari told the workers appealing them to return to work.

Another video from the canteen of the factory has surfaced, in which hundreds of workers could be seen not practicing any social distancing, without masks, lining up to have their food.

The local residents have expressed grave concerns over the working of the factory, claiming it can expose the workers as well as the entire district to the infection of coronavirus.

PM Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown across the country amid the coronavirus crisis.



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