Industry, trade hit by heavy rains in TN

PTI | | Updated on: Jan 22, 2018

Chennai;Tamil Nadu;21/11/2015 Rain Water in Vandalur Main road on Saturday photo;G_Sribharath | Photo Credit: G_SRIBHARATH

Torrential rains lashing several parts of Tamil Nadu not only crippled normal life but also caused crores of rupees loss to the economy with services in commercial establishments, transport of goods and vegetables being hit hard.

As several low-lying areas were flooded and some still remaining waterlogged due to the heavy rains in the last few weeks under the active north east monsoon, the economy has been affected, traders said.

Several parts of the state, particularly Cuddalore district, Chennai city and suburbs, experienced very heavy rains for a few days from November 9, resulting in largescale flooding.

Chennai and adjoining Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, which encompasses most part of city suburbs, were battered by heavy downpour from November 13, marooning people in various localities.

The impact has been more pronounced and immediate on the vegetable and fruit markets in the city with supplies dwindling due to the disruption in transport of goods.

“Supply of vegetables predominantly, those coming from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, were hit as lorries were stuck in many places. On an average 3,000 lorries come to supply vegetables. I can say at least 25 per cent of supply has been hit due to the rains,” Koyambedu Vegetable Market Association Secretary Chandran said.

As lorries were not able to supply goods due to several areas getting waterlogged, prices of vegetables, including beans, tomatoes and drumstick shot up, he said.

“We are unable to get the supply. Since rainfall stopped a few days ago, we expect supply to resume normally in the coming days,” he told PTI.

The transportation industry particularly movement of inter—city and intra—city buses had also been hit badly due to the heavy rainfall.

According to sources in the bus sector, about Rs 150 crore worth of business was lost due to rains.

Bus ticketing portal CEO Arun Athiappan said about Rs 150 crore worth business was hit due to heavy ticket cancellations.

“During last four days when there was heavy rainfall, there was a surge in ticket cancellations. In some cases, though buses operated, passengers were unable to reach the bus stand due to inundation of their localities,” he said.

“As roads were full of water, buses remained parked and idle. Most of the drivers were unable to reach as water has surrounded those places were they live...,” Parveen Travels Director Sadiq said.

“There were cost over runs as several last minute ticket cancellations happened,” he said.

With the unprecedented inundation in the city and outskirts causing damage to vehicles and household goods, insurers have started getting claims.

City-based United India Insurance has received 130 claims, totalling Rs 110 crore. Company Chairman and Managing Director Milind Karat had said UI received 130 claims worth Rs 110 crore and expected more in coming days.

As the rains paralysed normal life, IT companies offered flexible time schedule and work from home option for its employees who were not able to reach their respective offices.

“Employee safety and security is our top priority. As a result of heavy rains and flooding, our facilities in Chennai were closed on Monday. We advised our colleagues in affected areas to not take unnecessary risks when travelling to work, and to work from home if possible,” a spokesperson of Cognizant Technology Solutions told PTI.

Stating that many employees working on “important projects” preferred to stay in offices, he said, “We made all required arrangements for them and provided all possible support.”

“As part of that, some of our employees travelled to other Cognizant centres within Chennai and other cities to provide support to our clients,” he said.

IT major Wipro Ltd said due to heavy rainfall the company shifted employees to safer locations after assessing the ground situation. “Electrical systems were strategically monitored to avoid any untoward incidents. Adequate fuel and food items were stocked,” a Wipro Ltd spokesperson told PTI.

“Boats and large vehicles were arranged to allow in—campus commute,” he said.

As part of heavy rainfall the company had declared holidays for three days from November 18, he said.

Published on November 22, 2015
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