Post-lockdown, defence PSUs to work in three shifts, six days a week

New Delhi: Post-lockdown, the employees of defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) have decided to carry out work in three shifts and extend the workdays from five to six days a week, the Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

“Almost all defence PSUs have made contingency plans to ramp up production after the lockdown is lifted by drawing up plans to work in three shifts and extending the work days from five to six days a week,” the ministry said.

It was also stated that several units of Ordinance Factory Boards and defence PSUs which are located in non-red zones have already started operations.

The revelation came during a review meeting carried out by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday through video conference about contribution of defence PSUs and Ordinance Factory Board to fight COVID and their operational plans.

“Work will be carried out by observing social distancing and other relevant health guidelines,” the PSUs said.

Singh appreciated the innovative skills displayed by the PSUs in devising manufacture of new products to fight COVID-19 and also their assistance rendered to the local administration in several forms.

The minister had directed them to prepare contingency plans for resumption of operations after the lifting of lockdown to compensate for the lost working time to the extent possible and ramp up production.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to revive the economy post-lockdown, Singh said defence PSUs along with private defence industry could play a major role in the economic revival.

He also appreciated the monetary contribution of about Rs 77 crore made by the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry if Defence (MoD), OFB and defence PSUs to the PM-CARES Fund, generated from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and one-day salary contribution.

During the meeting, Ordinance Factory Board stated that there was no COVID positive case in any of its 41 manufacturing locations.

“OFB’s contribution in fighting COVID included repair of more than 100 ventilators, manufacture 12,800 coveralls, development of specialised machines for testing of PPEs, supply of 6.35 lakh masks to local authorities, supply of 340 specialised tents to Arunachal Pradesh for COVID-19 patients, distribution of 1 lakh litres of hand sanitiser,” the ministry said.

OFB has earmarked 280 isolation beds at its hospitals in 10 locations. In addition, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has also earmarked 93 isolation beds in Bengaluru for COVID patients.

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has made arrangements to manufacture 12,000 ventilators in the month of May 2020 and another 18,000 in June 2020. Around 3,000 engineers will also participate in training of the health professionals in operationalising these ventilators.

HAL stated that they have manufactured 300 aerosol cabinets and supplied them to various hospitals. “It has also distributed 56,000 masks and extended support to migrant labourers. No positive COVID-19 case has been recorded among HAL employees,” the ministry said.

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) is also working with eminent scientists for finalisation of design for ventilators and to make the prototype.

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) provided PPE and medicines worth Rs five lakh to Naval Quarantine Centre, Mumbai and distributed 4,000 litres of sanitiser.

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