Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed contribution of Defence Public Sector Undertaking Units (DPSUs) and Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) to fight COVID-19 and their operational plans through video conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. He appreciated the innovative skills displayed by the DPSUs in devising manufacture of new products to fight COVID-19 and also their assistance rendered to the local administration in several forms.
He directed them to prepare contingency plans for resumption of operations after the lifting of lock down to compensate for the lost working time to the extent possible and ramp up production. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to revive the economy post-lock down, Rajnath Singh said DPSUs along with private defence industry could play a major role in the economic revival.
He appreciated the monetary contribution of about Rs. 77 crores made by the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), OFB and DPSUs to the PM CARES Fund, generated from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and one day salary contribution. It was intimated that more contribution to PM CARES Fund from the DPSUs is expected during April 2020.
During the conference, Ordinance Factory Board has reported that there was no COVID 19 positive case in any of its 41 manufacturing locations. OFB’s contribution in fighting COVID 19 included repair of more than 100 ventilators, manufacture 12,800 Coveralls, development of spcialised machines for testing of PPEs, supply of 6.35 lakh masks to local authorities, supply of 340 specialised tents to Arunachal Pradesh for COVID 19 patients, distribution of 1 lakh litres of hand sanitizer and others. OFB has earmarked 280 isolation beds at its hospitals in 10 locations. In addition, HAL has also earmarked 93 isolation beds in Bangalore for COVID-19 patients.
Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has made arrangements to manufacture 12,000 ventilators in the month of May 2020 and another 18,000 in June 2020. Around 3,000 engineers will also participate in training of the health professionals in operationalising these ventilators.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has manufactured 300 aerosol cabinets and supplied them to various hospitals. It has also distributed 56,000 masks and extended support to migrant labourers. In addition, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has also earmarked 93 isolation beds in Bangalore for COVID-19 patients. No positive COVID-19 case has been recorded among HAL employees.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) is also working with eminent scientists for finalisation of design for ventilators and to make the prototype.
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) provided PPE and medicines worth Rs Five lakh to Naval Quarantine Centre, Mumbai and distributed 4,000 litres of sanitiser.
Several Units of OFB and DPSUs which are located in non-red zones have already started operations. Almost all DPSUs have made contingency plans to ramp up production after the lockdown is lifted by drawing up plans to work in three shifts and extending the work days from five to six days a week. Work will be carried out by observing social distancing and other relevant health guidelines.
Secretary, (Department of Defence Production) Raj Kumar, senior officials of Department of Defence Production, MoD, senior officials of OFB, BEL, HAL, MDL, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), BDL, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL), Midhani Mishradhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) and Goa Shipyard Ltd participated in the video conference.