Though the Government of India has exempted essential services from the lockdown, there is ambiguity in Kashmir whether packaged water is included in the exempted list or not which has forced the manufacturing units to stall the production and the supply in the market.
Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Zaffar Ahmad Trumboo, Managing Director of Pure Max said “From last couple of days, we have suspended our production activities. Despite the fact that packaged water is considered as the essential item and it comes in the groceries list. But in Kashmir so far there is no direction from the authorities whether we could resume our activities or not. We spoke to officials they too are unclear.’
“Water is essential supply this time as many patients or their attendants fear to drink unfiltered tap water. As a result of which they need packaged water, but we could only start our operations when government issues movement passes to our whole chain, which includes our staff, distributors and supplier,” Trumboo said.
He said that they will try to resume their operations as soon as possible as it is a crisis situation. “We have 14 packaged water processing units, out of which seven are operational. I have appealed all the unit holders to start activities on humanitarian basis as we are facing unprecedented situation.”
Another manufacturing unit holder wishing not to be named said “They have received directions from the authorities that all the manufacturing activities must be stopped. I am not sure whether it is applicable to packaged water unit holders or not. But at the same time, our staff has not been allowed to attend work, despite the fact that packaged water is an essential commodity.”
A senior government official said “there is no embargo on the activities of units manufacturing packaged water. Packaged water comes under grocery items. At this moment there is concern that if we start giving movement passes in bulk, it will defeat the purpose of lockdown. Therefore we have recommended units holders who come under essential items list, that they must utilize minimum workforce in view of pandemic corona virus.”