OFBs, DPSUs told to ramp up output after lockdown
Rajnath Singh said such plans were necessary to ramp up production and compensate for the time lost due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Singh spoke to top officials of the OFB and DPSUs, via video conference, and reviewed operational plans as well as their contribution to the fight against the pandemic.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 00:04 IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) to draw up contingency plans for resuming operations after the lockdown to combat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is lifted, the ministry said in a statement.
Singh said such plans were necessary to ramp up production and compensate for the time lost due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Singh spoke to top officials of the OFB and DPSUs, via video conference, and reviewed operational plans as well as their contribution to the fight against the pandemic.
Several units of the OFB and DPSUs, located in non-red zones, have already kicked off operations and drawn up plans for post-lockdown operations, the ministry statement said. Defence ministry officials said the units of the OFB and DPSUs plan to work in three shifts six days a week (rather than the usual five) to speed up production. Work will be carried out by observing social distancing and other relevant health guidelines, the officials said.
The defence ministry statement said that Singh referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to revive the economy once the lockdown is over and said that the DPSUs along with the private defence industry could play a major role in the revival.
Singh praised the efforts of DPSUs in coming out with new products to fight Covid-19 and also the assistance provided by them to the local administration.
The OFB’s contribution in fighting Covid- 19 includes the repair of more than 100 ventilators, manufacture of 12,800 coveralls, development of specialised machines for testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and supply of 6.35 lakh masks to local authorities, the statement said.
The OFB has also earmarked 280 isolation beds at hospitals spread across 10 locations.
The statement said Bharat Electronics Ltd is ready to manufacture 12,000 ventilators in May and another 18,000 in June to support the national effort to tackle the disease. Around 3,000 engineers will help train health professionals in operationalising the ventilators, the ministry said.
The statement said Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has manufactured and supplied 300 aerosol cabinets to various hospitals and also distributed 56,000 masks and extended support to migrant labourers. HAL has also earmarked 93 isolation beds in Bangalore for Covid-19 patients.