Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently hinted that some relaxations may be allowed after April 20 to resume business activities, manufacturers and exporters at Tirupur garment cluster in Chennai are skeptical about reopening their factories. Raja M Shanmugam, President of Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA), says the current cause of worry is the rising number of patients in Tirupur. The PM has clearly said relaxation may be allowed from April 20 in places that are not virus hotspots but after Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur districts have reported the highest number of patients in the state. Shanmugam says, if exporters are not allowed to run factories, then they will suffer massive losses and it will take years for us to recover from it.
Tirupur Exporters Association has recently also written to the Central and state governments to allow the textile cluster to reopen, so that they can send samples to clients in the US and Europe, and retain export orders for Spring/Summer collection. Otherwise, they will lose their export customers forever to countries like China, Bangladesh and Pakistan, where factories are still functional.