Textile industry grappling with loss from floods

Swathi Moorthy Chennai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 14, 2015

To work overtime to meet the demand in upcoming wedding season

With the shutdown of production units and cancellation of orders, textile industry is facing a significant setback in production and sales after the recent flooding in Chennai.

Chennai buyers have cancelled ₹500 crore worth of orders from the Surat textile industry, one of the largest producers of man-made-fabric in India.

Goods returned

Champalal Bothra, Director, Federation of Surat Textile Trader Association, said goods that were sent to Tamil Nadu, which is one of the major markets for Surat textile industry, have been returned and some lost in transit. “It will take another month to ascertain the loss incurred in transit,” Bothra said.

Bothra said there had been delay in payments as well. The industry also employs workers from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, who were unable to come for work due to the recent rain, affecting their production and sales.

TN units shut down

K Sivakumar, Managing Director, RmKV, a textile manufacturer and retailer, said the manufacturing units in Kanchipuram and Aarani, districts near Chennai, were shut down for the past one month.

“There has been a loss of 1-1.5 lakh sarees as we did not have any production since November 10,” he said. The units resumed production on December 12.

Sivakumar said, “With the wedding season coming up, we need to work overtime in order to meet the demand.”

In order to boost the production, weavers and contractors would be working overtime, he added.

Production loss

Jayashree Ravi, proprietor of Palam Silks, another retailer in Chennai, said some of the production units in Kanchipuram have been affected as the looms were submerged. “We are yet to assess the damage,” she said.

Apart from loss of production, the industry is facing significant loss in sales as well. Ravi said the sales in the past month accounted for 15-20 per cent of the normal sales.

“If our daily turnover was ₹10 lakh, in the last month it was only 15 per cent of that. Our footfall was barely 3-4 in a day and more often than not the place was vacant,” she said.

Christmas and Diwali sales have not picked in most of the stores and the business Marghazhi festival brings in has been hit as well. “Marghazhi festival sees many outstation and overseas buyers. With the rain, many of them have cancelled their tickets,” Ravi said.

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Published on December 14, 2015
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