Vaiko's Letter to Hon'ble Prime Minister

Issues: Human Rights, International, Law & Order, National, Politics, Science and Technology

Region: Tamil Nadu

Category: Articles, Letters

Tue, 23/01/2018







Dear   Shri. Narendra  Modi  ji,
I would like bring to your  kind  notice  about  a sense  of  insecurity  and  fear  being  faced  by  more  than  2,000 employees  working  in  Ordnance Clothing  Factory,  Avadi,. Chennai 54., who  are  likely  to  be  rendered  surplus/displaced  under  the garb of withdrawing  the  strategic  products  being  manufactured  in  this  factory  in  the  name  of  “NON – CORE” and  handling  over  the  same  to  the  private  sector. 
There  are  41   Ordnance  Factories  under  the  Department  of  the  Defence  Production  involved  in  manufacturing  of  all  types  of  equipments  required  for  the  Armed  Forces. 
Out  of  this  41 Ordnance  Factories,  5  Ordnance  Factories  (4 in  UP  state, 1 in  Tamilnadu) are  dedicated  for  manufacturing troop comfort items like Strategic Army Logo uniforms,  Extreme climate clothing, Boots,  Tents, Blankets   and  parachutes  etc.,
The  Ordnance  Clothing  factory  Avadi  was  established  in 1961 exclusively  to  manufacture  different  types of uniforms  and  garments  required  for  the  Army. For  the  past 55 years this  factory  has  rendered  yeomen  service  to  the  security  of  our  country.  
At  present  2121  employees  including  811  women  employees  are  working  in this factory  and  about  120  Apprentices are  undergoing  training (More than  500  Trained  Trade  Apprentices  who  belong  to  economically  and  socially  downtrodden sections  of  the  society are already  waiting  for  jobs.  
The  Government  declared  143  items  out  of more than 650  items  being  manufactured  by  the  Ordnance  factories  including  that of  OCF  Avadi  as  “Non Core”  and  has directed  that  in  future  the  Ordnance  Factories  need  not  manufacture  these  items  and  that  the  Army  will procure  these items  from  the  trade.  
Hence, the future  of  the  Factory  at  Avadi  and  other  4  factories  in UP  state have  become  a  big  question mark.
Apart  from the  above  143  items  another  39  items  including  the  strategic  combat  Army Logo  uniform  being  manufactured  by  Ordnance  Clothing Factory Avadi is  also proposed  to  be  declared as  Non Core,  even  though  the  DDP  has  given an  assurance  in writing  to  the  employees  that  these  39  items  shall  not  be  declared  as  ‘Non Core’.
The  Ministry  of  Defence  on  16-11-2017  has  issued  an  order  stating  that  hereafter  stitched uniforms  will  not  be  provided  to  the  Soldiers  of  the  Army,  instead  they  will  be  given  an  Uniform  Allowance  of  
Rs. 10,000/-  per  year , so  that  they  can  purchase  the  Army uniforms  from  any  private  shops /suppliers.
If  the  above  decisions  are  implemented, it  will result  in  the  Army Soldiers  getting  substandard  uniforms  and it will take away  the  Uniformity in  the  dress of  the  Soldiers.  
Moreover  as per  the specifications  of  Army Logo  Uniforms,  the  basic  fabric  should  have  80%  cotton  and  20 %  polyester  as  blend  composition  for 
Better  comfort
Better  breathability
Sweat  absorption
Better  hygiene
OCF  Avadi has taken lot of efforts to develop the present Army logo uniform. After lot of field trial, final decision was arrived for 80% cotton 20% polyester blend and 250 GSM fabric which give maximum comfort to the Soldier.
All the raw material including the garniture items like weaving thread, zips,buttons, inter lining  are subjected to different types of lab test and visual inspection as per the Guiding specification. OCF  Avadi performs around 14 types of tests before accepting the basic fabric of Army logo uniform. The Army Logo uniform is manufactured by using the precision cutting technology through CAM  Cutting Machine and  the  fabrication  is  done  by  well  trained , qualified, and  skilled workers.  All these  facilities  are  established  at OCF  Avadi  over a  period  of  time.  
Dismantling all the above available technology and facilities and  asking  the  Army  soldiers to purchase  uniform from  open market  is  not  at  all  a  wise  decision.  OCF  Avadi  in  the  past  on  pro  active  basis  did  a  market  survey  on  the  fabric  available  in  the  market. The  factory  purchased  fabric  from   four  different  suppliers  from Local  market  at  Delhi  and  all  these  fabrics  were  subjected  to  lab  test.  
It  is  evident  from  the  result  that, apart  from  failing  other  performance  parameters,  even  the  blend  is  also  not  maintained, having  100%  polyester  in one  case  and  viscose  fibre  in  place  of  cotton  in  other  two  cases  which  are  not  at  all  skin  friendly.
100%  polyester  material  will  develop  static  charge,  which  may  detonate  ammunitions /explosives inferior quality.
Your  kind  attention  is  also  invited to the  recent  media  reports  that  Indian  Army  Uniform  are being  sold  for  Rs. 500  and  Rs. 1000  in  the  border Towns of Rajasthan.  All  these  shop  keepers  are  blatantly  flouting  the  rules  by  openly  selling  the  Army uniforms  and  all  these  are  being  purchased  by  anti  Social  elements  and  terrorists  for  their  anti  national  activities.
Here I would  like  to  inform you that the Army Logo  cloth designed  for  Jacket /Trouser  combat  Disruptive  is  patented  in the  name of  Ordnance Clothing Factory Avadi  and  hence  the  same  cannot  be  used  by  any  private  supplier.
The Government of  India  announced  ‘Make  in  India’ policy in Defence with  the  statement  that  the  Armed  forces are importing 70% of the equipments from Foreign countries  and  that only  30%  are  being  manufactured  indigenously  by  41  Ordnance factories  and  Defence  PSU’s, therefore  ‘Make  in India’  concept  will  be  utilized  for  manufacturing  those 70%  imported  items in India. 
However  it is  unfortunate that  the  Ministry  of Defence   instead of  concentrating  in  import   replacement  through  ‘Make  In India’  is  taking  away  the products  being  manufactured  by  Ordnance  Factories  and  handing   over  the  same to  the  private  sector  and  calling  the  same  as  ‘Make  in India’  has  become  a  mockery  of  the  policy  decision  announced  by  the  Government. 
In  view  of  the  above I feel  in the  interest  of  national  security, all  the  above  policy  decision  taken  by  the Government  may  be  kept  in abeyance  and  a  thorough  discussion  on  all  these  issues  has  to  take  place  in  the  Parliament.  
I  would  like   to  inform  you that the Trade Unions of the Defence  Civilian  employees  have  jointly  represented  against  this  to  the  Honourable  Minister  of  Defence  and  have  stated in  their  representation  that all  these  decision  are  taken  arbitrarily  even  though  the  employees  and  their Trade unions  are  the  major  stakeholders  under  the Ministry  of  Defence. 
The  Trade  Unions of  Defence  Civilian  employees have  represented that  the  decisions  at  present  taken  by  the  Government  are  violation  of  the  assurance  given  by  the  Ministry  of  Defence  in  the  past.  
The  Government  has  assured  them in  writing  in the  past  that  “The  Government  is  committed  for  full  utilization of  the  installed  capacity  of  the  Ordnance  Factories  and  their  growth”  “The  first  choice  for  productionising  any  equipment  was  always  Ordnance  Factories”  
Therefore  it  is  submitted  that  you  may  kindly  intervene  in the  matter  and  directions  may  please  be  issued  to  the  Ministry  of  Defence  to  withdraw  the  following  three  decisions  taken  by  the  MOD  against  the  interest  of  OCF  Avadi  employees.
As  assured  to  the  Trade  Unions  the  39  items  including the  Army  Logo  uniform  proposed  by  the  Army should not be declared as Non Core item. 
The Government order for granting uniform allowance to  the soldiers  may be withdrawn and soldiers should  be continued to issue with stitched  uniform  manufactured  by Ordnance factories including  OCF  Avadi.  
The imposed  ban   on  recruitment  and  withdrawal  of  the  appointment  of  177  Tradesman  post  already  sanctioned  against the  interest  of  Trained  Trade  Apprentices, OBCs, SCs and STs.
I  am  confident  that  the   above  issues may  be given  due  consideration by  your  honour  and  necessary  instruction  will  be  issued  to  save the  Ordnance  factories in general  and  the OCF  Avadi  and  its  employees  in  particular in  the  interest  of defence  preparedness. 
With  regards,

Yours  sincerely,

Hon’ble Shri. Narendra  Modi
Prime Minister,
Government  of  India.
South Block,
New  Delhi.


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