The Aligarh lock industry has sought financial assistance from the Yogi Adityanath government to enable it to pay salaries to its workers.
According to Sunil Datta, general secretary of the Tala Nagri Industrialist Association, a meeting with the state government is scheduled this week in this regard.
“We are not in a position to support our workers any longer. We had no business during the lockdown, but we paid salaries to them, but now things are out of our hands too. We need some financial assistance to survive,” he said.
District Magistrate Aligarh, Chandra Bhushan Singh, said that he would soon convene a meeting of representatives from the industry to discuss their problems.
The famous lock industry in Aligarh, which comprises over 6,400 registered and over 3,000 home units, employs nearly two lakh workers.
“There has been no production and no money has been coming in since the lockdown and we cannot pay our staff any longer,” said Datta.
According to industry members, nearly 80 per cent of the total production of locks takes place in Aligarh and its locks are also exported to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“Though several units have started functioning, there is virtually no demand in the market right now, hence it is not feasible to employ workers at this time. There is also a shortage of capital money, which is stuck in the market as outstanding payments,” Rafiq Khan, a manufacturer.
“We need support from the government for survival and if that happens, we can hope to get back into business in another four or five months,” he said.
Ashok Kumar Pandey, a local politician who contested the 2019 as an independent candidate, said that the lock industry had taken a severe blow in the lockdown and if the government did not offer any support, several units would face closure.
“Under the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme, the government should offer assistance to the industry that is famous all over for its locks,” he added.