Battery maker Amara Raja Group, known for its brand Amaron, said that it is shutting down operations at all its manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh until March 31, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The group is headquartered in Andhra's Tirupati and has 18 plants in the state. It has now said that only essential services would be operated.
"Considering that most of the manufacturing operations are continuous process in nature, steps for safe shutdown has commenced. The group will be reviewing the situation continuously and will take all necessary steps as required from time to time," the company said in a statement.
Amara Raja Batteries Ltd, are one of the largest manufacturers of Automotive and Industrial batteries in India and the group employs a workforce of over 16,000 people with a net revenue of around Rs 8,704 crores during the financial year 2018-19.
Ahead of the announcement, the company said that it had already commenced measures like hand sanitisers at all entry/exit gates, the usage of personal protective equipment like masks, continuous disinfecting of work areas, and social distancing where possible.
"A Group Corporate Task force for COVID-19 with senior leadership and medical professionals has been put in place to scan the entire operating environment (internal as well as external), to review the operating guidelines released by Central and State governments and to formulate and execute the action plan devised to mitigate against the pandemic," the statement added.
The company also said that it will continue to "explore all the possible support to the state and central governments in running essential services like Telecom infrastructure, data centres, transport of essential services, and supply of electrical equipment required by Power Utilities, agricultural produce etc."
The group has close ties to the family of Member of Parliament (MP) from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Jayadev Galla, who is the managing director of Amara Raja Batteries Ltd and Galla Foods Ltd.
Earlier this week, KIA Motors India decided to suspend production of vehicles from its Anantapur facility in Andhra Pradesh owing to the lockdown announced by the state government, and also prevailing conditions with regards to the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
"All our dealerships remain on call and are available to our customers for all their requirements via all our digital channels...We are also ensuring deliveries are not delayed for eager customers as well as service requirements are also being attended to, without compromising on strong safety precautions," a statement by KIA had said.