After almost 50 days of lockdown, carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), has finally resumed operations at one of its Manesar plants in Haryana, with a capacity of 600 employees on a single shift basis.
The plant at Manesar was made operational only after the Haryana government granted permission for the same on May 13.
Out of the 600 employees, there is a mix of permanent and casual workers who have started to work on a single shift basis. A few members from the leadership team have also joined the workforce.
Speaking to HRKatha, Vinod Rai, head – human capital, Maruti Suzuki India, mentions the social distancing norms that are being strictly followed after resuming operations.
“As per guidelines, a six-feet distance is maintained between employees with proper sanitation facilities on every floor of the departments. In order to protect our employees from contamination, we have built multiple tunnels for them to enter the premises, which will lead them to their respective departments,” says Rai.
In order to implement GOI guidelines and changes, the company has created a Covid-19 Task Force under the guidance of its management, and has worked out a detailed SOP for safe start of operations. Guidelines include starting from home to going back safely.
“As per guidelines, a six-feet distance is maintained between employees with proper sanitation facilities on every floor of the departments. In order to protect our employees from contamination, we have built multiple tunnels for them to enter the premises, which will lead them to their respective departments”
Rai also mentions that only the employees who have registered themselves with the Arogya Setu app will be allowed to come to the plant.
“Parallely, we also have our own inhouse developed wellness apps to track temperature and stay connected and updated about Covid 19 cases, Rai adds.
Maruti Suzuki India is the latest carmaker to restart operations in the third phase of the nationwide lockdown, along with the likes of Hyundai, Toyota, Renault and Nissan, which have also announced partial resumption of operations in the last few days.
Now that the plant in Manesar is operational, MSIL will also start its operations in Gurugram, and the other plant in Manesar, Haryana, by May 18, 2020. However, this will be in effect only after the government grants permit.
There are uncertainties pertaining to production because manpower movement is still somewhat restricted. Permits are needed to move around from one district to another.
When asked about the manpower-related challenges, Rai says, “Many workers have returned to their villages during the pandemic, and there being no means of communicating with them, so we are hopeful to get back with more employees when the operations are fully functional.”
“In spite of our manufacturing plants being operational, supply to other parts of the country will depend upon the government’s further direction. So, resuming operations with a limited workforce is not really a challenge for the time being”, he added.
“Currently we are focusing on the maintenance and implementation of our SOPs in place,” reveals Rai.
The car manufacturing giant, which rolls out high-selling models, such as Alto, Swift, Dzire, S-Presso, Ertiga and Baleno, is looking forward to increasing its capacity and production after May 18.