While the state government plans to unveil its new industry policy to promote micro, small and medium industry, the entrepreneurs want stringent fire safety conditions to be relaxed. Otherwise, they threaten to move their units to Gujarat.
The state directed all new units to install expensive fire fighting equipment and then get a no objection certificate from the MIDC fire services department.
The protesting units are located in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) estates spread across the state.
One group, Tarapur Industrial Manufacturers’ Association (TIMA), raised the issue with the government. TIMA secretary SR Gupta said his counterparts across the state are also against the compulsion. “The state did not consult any of the industrial associations while making the law,” he said.
TIMA president DK Raut said the MIDC wants them to buy the equipment from various vendors. “We are not allowed to choose the vendors. Our input costs escalate unnecessarily. We are thinking of moving out to Gujarat if our demand is not met.”
Milindkumar Deshmukh, chief of MIDC’s fire services, said, “We are flexible to a certain extent because this matter concerns the safety of workers and property.” He said his department needs to be stringent about industries dealing with chemicals to avoid serious disasters.