Madurai

‘Salt pan workers should be allowed to work during lockdown’

The vegetable market, shifted to a private ground in Thoothukudi, is crowded on Tuesday.  

The Thoothukudi District Tiny and Small Salt Manufacturers Association on Sunday said the district administration should permit the salt industry to carry on with its operations during the lockdown.

In a memorandum submitted to Collector K. Senthil Raj , association general secretary A.R.A.S. Dhanapalan recalled that when a lockdown was announced last year, the district administration had permitted workers to go to salt pans.

At least, 20,000 workers were dependent on the industry and, to ensure their livelihood, officials should take favourable action. Also, since the workers did not have identity cards, police should be instructed to allow them after due verification.

The salt pan industry, a major sector in the district, suffered huge losses due to the pandemic over the last one year. Now, when production was under way at many of the units, workers had to be present. “We assure the authorities that physical distancing will be adhered to at the work spot,” Mr. Dhanapalan said.

Like vegetables, fish and meat, milk, salt should also be considered as commodity, he added.

Meanwhile, the markets were filled with shoppers during the weekend. As the lockdown would be in force from May 10 to 24, they purchased many items including liquor at TASMAC outlets.

At many intersections, traffic police had to regulate the vehicle movement and it did not appear like a Sunday, a civic authority in Thoothukudi Corporation said adding that people neglected to maintain physical distancing and did not wear face masks.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:14:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/salt-pan-workers-should-be-allowed-to-work-during-lockdown/article34521485.ece

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