Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer, has closed its shop until March 31, due to the ongoing COVID-19 containment measures.
In a circular released to the media, the firm said that it will close all manufacturing units and offices spread across its facilities in India from March 24 to March 31. However, people involved in essential services, including those dealing with maintenance, water supply, power and security at HAL townships will remain on-duty.
HAL spokesperson, Gopal Sutar, said this “essential staff” comprise only a small number and that they vary from department to department.
When asked if any ongoing or priority projects would be affected by the shutdown, Sutar said this was unlikely. “A shutdown of little over a week cannot make a noticeable impact as it can be covered with extra efforts and measures,” he said,
The move to shut down operations was prompted by office orders issued by the governments of Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, UP and Telangana, read a circular released to the media on Monday night.
“In pursuance of these orders, it is decided that the divisions/offices at Bengaluru, Nasik, Mumbai, Barrackpore, Lucknow, Kangur, Hyderabad will remain closed from the start of the shift on March 24 to the close of the shift on March 31 until further orders,” the circular said.
The same dispensation will be available for offices in Delhi, Vizag, Chennai and at Tambram Airbase where HAL has a unit, the circular added.
“Employees of other departments shall remain in the headquarters (Bengaluru). They will be available on the phone and electronic means of communication at all times during the period and can be called for duty as and when required,” the circular clarified.
Based on the firm’s annual turnover figures and earlier estimations in consultations with company insiders, a single day of non-productivity is said to cost HAL as much as Rs 50 crore.