The country’s biggest car-maker Maruti Suzuki on Saturday halted production at its Manesar and Gurgaon plants in Haryana citing disruption in supply of components due to a violent agitation by Jats seeking reservation in jobs and educational institutions.
The two facilities produce close to 5,000 cars per day.
The last time Maruti had shut down these facilities was in 2012 due to labour unrest which had led to the killing of one officer by workers.
“Owing to the agitation in Rohtak and nearby areas, supplies of certain components have been disrupted. As a consequence, the company has had to temporarily suspend manufacture of cars at its facilities in Manesar and Gurgaon, starting Saturday (February 20) second half,” Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSI) said in a press statement.
The statement added that it was trying to procure supplies through “alternative routes and sources”.
“Once the supply of components is restored, normal operations will resume,” the company said.
The agitation by the Jat community, into the 7th day on Saturday, has seen thousands of protesters blocking major roads and railway tracks across the state, disrupting surface communication for a week.
Government officials said hundreds of trucks are stranded in different places of the state and on Haryana’s borders with other states. Authorities have imposed restrictions in Gurgaon under section 144 of CrPc to maintain law and order as protesters have blocked railway tracks and roads.
While the Manesar plant has 1,700 robots to make a car every 12 seconds, the Gurgaon unit manufactures the K-series engines that drive the hatchbacks like Alto K10, Swift, Celerio and Swift Dzire.
Production at the Manesar plant was affected in 2011 due to a tussle between the workers’ union and the automaker over various demands. Then in 2012, a general manager of the company’s Gurgaon plant, Awanish Kumar Dev, was killed and nearly 100 people were injured in the violent clash on the plant premises. Some 147 workers were also charged with murder in this case by a Gurgaon court.
The top carmaker has close to 50% share in the passenger vehicles’ market in the country and sold 116,606 units in January 2016.