Udupi district in Karnataka allows rice mills, coconut oil manufacturing units to operate during lockdown

Consumers of rice and coconut oil in coastal districts of Karnataka can heave a sigh of relief as the Udupi district administration has made arrangements for the operation of rice mills and coconut oil producing units in the district, reports Hindu BusinessLine.

Udupi district houses a significant number of these units along coastal Karnataka.

Considering the demand for these essential commodities in the wake of nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak, the Udupi district administration has asked the rice mills and coconut oil producing units to begin their production immediately.

In an order, the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi district, G Jagadeesha, said that rice mills and coconut oil producing units in the district had stopped operations due to the lockdown in the country. Such a situation may lead to the shortage of these commodities. Considering this, these units need to begin operations in the district immediately.

In such a situation, farmers should also be allowed to transport commodities such as paddy and coconut to the rice mills and coconut oil manufacturing units.

He said the district administration has decided to allow the operation of rice mills and coconut oil producing units in Udupi, Karkala and Kundapur taluks. To meet their requirements, the manufacturers have been allowed to purchase paddy and coconut from farmers.

The Deputy Commissioner said that workers in these units should be provided with masks, sanitisers and gloves. The manufacturers should also take steps to maintain social distancing of workers at the workplace.

He said the district administration has taken the initiative to operate rice mills and coconut oil producing units so as to avoid scarcity of these commodities in the region. These rice mills and coconut oil manufacturing units meet a significant portion of the demand for these commodities in the Udupi and Dakshina (South) Kannada districts.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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