OFOA’s Call For Infrastructure Boost To Ensure Industrial Success In Okhla

By Tanisha Saxena |

The Okhla Factory Owners Association (OFOA) has been a cornerstone of support for industries in the Okhla region since its establishment in 1993. In this interview, our CMR executive explores how OFOA fulfils its mission to nurture the welfare and interests of its members and the infrastructure in the area. We delve into the association’s services, its role in addressing industrial challenges, and its contribution to creating a positive industrial atmosphere.

Additionally, we discuss the impact of government policies on printing presses and the transformation of the plastics industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we conclude with a look towards the future, highlighting the importance of infrastructure development for the region’s industries. This conversation features Mr. Umesh Anand, President of The Okhla Factory Owners Association.

Q1. Can you provide an overview of the history and mission of the Okhla Factory Owners Association (OFOA)?

Ans. OFOA, the Okhla Factory Owners Association, was established in 1993 with the core mission of serving as a non-government, non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare and interests of its members and the infrastructure of the Okhla industrial area. Over the years, OFOA has continuously strived to foster cooperation and harmony among all stakeholders, ultimately facilitating positive trade and industrial relationships for the smooth functioning of industries in the region.

Q2. How does OFOA support its members and unit holders in achieving their goals and interests within the industrial sector?

Ans. OFOA provides comprehensive support to its members and unit holders through a range of services. These services include advocating for their collective interests, providing a platform for networking, and facilitating cooperation with various agencies, all with the aim of ensuring their growth and success in the industrial sector. In essence, we are the voice of multiple factories. We try to convey the issues to the government. 

Q3. Could you elaborate on some of the key activities and services that OFOA offers to its members?

Ans. The association offers several vital services, such as advocacy for industrial issues, representing members’ concerns with local authorities, facilitating networking events, organizing workshops, and providing a platform for knowledge sharing. OFOA also engages in infrastructure development initiatives to enhance the overall industrial environment. 

Q4. What are the primary challenges and issues that OFOA addresses on behalf of its members and the local area infrastructure?

Ans. OFOA is committed to addressing challenges and issues faced by its members and the local area infrastructure. This may encompass concerns related to infrastructure development, regulatory hurdles, environmental compliance, and other industry-specific challenges that impact the well-being of its constituents.

Q5. How has OFOA contributed to promoting a positive and healthy industrial atmosphere in the region since its establishment in 1993?

Ans. Since its inception, OFOA has consistently worked to promote a positive and healthy industrial atmosphere. This is achieved through the association’s activities in resolving disputes, fostering cooperation among members, and encouraging sustainable business practices that benefit both the industries and the community.

Q6. Can you stress the infrastructure of the region and how it affects industries?

Ans. The Okhla Industrial Area boasts several advantages; however, it is crucial to acknowledge that the state of road infrastructure, a common concern in many urban areas of India, is far from satisfactory. The poor condition of roads in this region gives rise to a multitude of adverse consequences. 

Firstly, it leads to persistent traffic congestion, causing delays in the movement of goods and people. This, in turn, results in increased transportation costs and productivity losses for the industrial sector. 

Secondly, businesses operating in Okhla find themselves burdened by higher vehicle maintenance costs due to the wear and tear inflicted by rough or potholed roads, which inevitably impact their profitability. 

Thirdly, the road conditions pose accessibility challenges for employees and customers, potentially affecting workforce retention and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the safety risks associated with poorly maintained roads cannot be ignored, as accidents and injuries become more common. 

Lastly, the condition of the roads significantly influences the overall image of the Okhla Industrial Area, potentially dissuading investment and deterring new businesses from considering the region. 

Given these concerns, it is imperative for local authorities and organizations, like us, to collaborate and advocate for comprehensive road maintenance and improvement initiatives. Engaging with government bodies, such as the Municipal Corporation and the Public Works Department, to prioritize road repairs and upgrades, becomes paramount for ensuring the sustained growth and success of industries in the area. 

Q7. Printing presses can contribute to pollution through air emissions (VOCs), energy consumption, waste generation, chemical usage, water pollution, deforestation, and noise pollution. To address this, the government has imposed several policies. How do they affect the industries? 

Ans. Government policies play a crucial role in addressing the environmental challenges posed by printing factories. These policies challenge factories to meet strict emission standards, limit energy consumption, improve waste management, ensure safe handling and disposal of chemicals, adhere to water discharge standards, and promote sustainable sourcing of materials. 

Furthermore, noise control measures and financial incentives are used to encourage eco-friendly practices. Environmental impact assessments and reporting obligations enhance transparency and accountability. 

By implementing and enforcing these policies, governments challenge printing factories to adopt more sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, ultimately reducing their pollution contributions and promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. In summary, it is a challenge for the printing presses. 

Q8. Shed light on the plastics industry and the impact of Covid. 

Ans. The plastics industry underwent a transformation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing both opportunities and challenges. The sudden and heightened demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies led to a surge in plastic production to meet these critical healthcare needs. 

Simultaneously, the shift towards online shopping and takeout services resulted in an increased demand for plastic packaging materials, such as single-use bags and containers. However, these shifts also exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, causing supply shortages and price fluctuations. 

Amidst this growth, concerns about environmental sustainability became more pronounced. The widespread use of single-use plastics for PPE and packaging generated worries about plastic waste and pollution. In response, regulatory changes began to take shape, including bans on certain plastic products and calls for more sustainable practices within the industry. 

To address these concerns, the plastics sector invested in research and development, exploring biodegradable plastics and innovative recycling technologies, and promoting the idea of a circular economy for plastics. 

Furthermore, heightened consumer awareness about the environmental impact of plastics prompted a shift in demand towards more sustainable packaging solutions. This shift indicates that the plastics industry must navigate a delicate balance between economic growth and adopting responsible, sustainable practices, all while adapting to evolving regulations and the changing preferences of an environmentally conscious consumer base. 

Q9. Lastly, we would like to conclude by asking you how you see the coming years for the industries in the region and what’s your aim. 

Ans. The future of industries in the Okhla region, like many other places, depends on various factors such as economic conditions, government policies, technological advancements, and global trends. The aims of the Association of Industries in Okhla include promoting growth, sustainability, and innovation within our member industries, and fostering a conducive business environment. Having said that, we really need an infrastructure boost from the government and MCD.

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