Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai, Aug 3

WHILE the rains in Mumbai have created havoc with the Government estimating losses at nearly Rs 15,000 crore, corporate houses in Mumbai are reluctant to reveal their losses. Instead they believe in focussing on their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives at the moment.

Biggies such as Hindustan Lever Ltd, Gujarat Ambuja Cements, Coca-Cola and even logistics company AFL have swung into action with their respective CSR initiatives in the affected areas.

Consider some of the immediate initiatives being provided by the big business houses. HLL has committed Rs 1 crore for immediate relief and rehabilitation work in Maharashtra. The relief would comprise company's products - tea, atta, bread, jam, soaps, detergents, disinfectants etc. The products will be used by the State Government for immediate relief to the rain/flood-affected peoplein the State.

Coca-Cola India, meanwhile, distributed 20,000 Kinley 1-litre bottles in the Kalyan area and plans to distribute another 40,000 bottles within the next few days in New Bombay in Thane district. Mr Ashutosh Singh, Coke spokesperson, said: "We are hoping to supply more water since this is the basic requirement at this hour."

AFL has provided free-of-cost logistics services to NGOs for moving the relief materials being collected by them into disaster affected areas in Mumbai and adjoining areas of Pune, Satara and Nashik. Besides, the company is also working with the Bombay Chamber of Commerce to bring in a big consignment of water purification tablets from Singapore to support relief operations in Mumbai.

Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd (GACL) has allocated a budget of Rs 1 crore for relief work . In addition, GACL is offering logistics support to mass relief operations. GACL's ship at Kalina is currently deployed to support relief activity in the area. GACL has deployed almost 100 employees to carry out relief work in Kalina and Panvel. Besides, GACL's more than 1,000-strong stockist network in the city has also been activated to coordinate relief activity - which broadly covers food and bare necessities such as cooking utensils and sheets for protection.

"Once the crisis situation settles in the city, GACL's team of civil engineers from Mumbai and other States shall assist in repair and reconstruction work free-of-cost," said Mr Suresh Neotia, Chairman, GACL.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 4, 2005)
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