On World Bicycle Day, one of the most famous Indian bicycle brands – Atlas Cycles – stopped all operations on Wednesday.
Issuing a statement, the company said that was is not in a position to resume manufacturing operations due to financial constraints, and as such, it had decided to close down its Sahibabad unit.
The Haryana-based company, which started manufacturing bicycles in 1951, had already closed down two units in 2014 and 2018. While in December 2014, its Malanpur unit in Madhya Pradesh was closed down, it suspended manufacturing at its Sonipat unit in 2018.
Following the closure of the Malanpur unit, the company had only two operational units – at Sonipat in Haryana and Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh. But with the closure of Sahibabad unit, the company has closed down its last factory.
“Post lifting of lockdown with effect from June 1, 2020, Sahibabad unit of the company is not in a position to resume manufacturing operations due to financial constraints. Hence, the workforce of Sahibabad unit of the company will be laid off with effect from June 3, 2020, till adequate arrangement of funds is made,” the company said.
The company said that due to severe cash crunch, it was difficult for the company to even procure raw materials.
According to an estimate, 700 lives will be affected by this shutdown as about 400 workers were directly dependent on the company’s operations while 300 more were indirectly benefiting from it.
In light of the development, a parody Twitter account named ‘First Prime Minister of India’ took a potshot at the Modi govt and shared the news, even while expressing his sadness over it.
Journalist and columnist Sucheta Dalal recalled her childhood memories with the Atlas bicycle in a Twitter post: