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Chennai industry shuts shop

Chennai industry shuts shop
Highlights

Torrential rains brought Chennai to a grinding halt. Army has been deployed for round-the-clock rescue and relief operations. The southern city’s industrial panorama shattered pushing the factories to announce closure.

  • Assocham estimates loss to be over `15,000 cr
  • Automobile, IT, ITeS, SMEs, textile & tourism badly hit

A flooded Chennai Airport

Chennai: Torrential rains brought Chennai to a grinding halt. Army has been deployed for round-the-clock rescue and relief operations. The southern city’s industrial panorama shattered pushing the factories to announce closure.

Assocham estimates the loss to be over Rs 15,000 crore due to heavy rains and inundation covering Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. SMEs, automobile, IT, ITeS, textile, tourism, engineering and other sectors were affected by the massive rainfall.

“Unprecedented torrential downpour in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu has led to total chaos thereby creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and panic not only for the trade, industry and other commercial activities but especially amid common individuals who are bearing heavy financial loss to their properties,” said D S Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

Chennai known to be the India’s Detroit, the largest auto manufacturing hubs, was forced to shut its plants for the second time in less than a month, hitting the production and delivery schedules badly.According to the reports, the global majors – Ford, Daimler and Nissan – have asked their employees to stay home on Wednesday.

Daimler official said all workers were sent home after a half day and we are shut today and tomorrow too. Ford spokesman said, “For the safety of our employees, we have halted the production at our Chennai assembly and engine plants on Wednesday.”

Others in the rain-lashed area include Renault-Nissan, Hyundai Motor Co and motorcycle maker TVS Motor have cancelled shifts.The IT companies, which were also hit badly, are considering alternative measures to lower the impact on critical services.Infosys decided to remain closed even on Thursday as its premises was flooded.

"In light of the rains and flooding in Chennai, Infosys campuses in the city were closed on December 2 and we have also declared a holiday on December 3. Our teams in Chennai have been working with local authorities to get stranded employees to return home safely," Infosys spokesperson said.

On the other hand, Cognizant, which has its largest office in Chennai with 60,000 people across 11 facilities in the city, said that some of its employees have stayed back in office to support critical services while some have travelled to other cities to support operations.

"In view of the situation resulting from incessant rains in Chennai and the meteorological department's forecast of heavy rains, Cognizant offices in Chennai are closed today, December 2. However, there is no disruption in work on critical projects and 24x7 operations support," Cognizant spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, IT major TCS said that its offices in Chennai are shut for Wednesday and "the strong business continuity plans ensure that there is no impact on business."

Further, Chennai Petroleum is considering shutting one of its three crude units, at Manali refinery owing to floods, the refinery’s managing director Gautam Roy said. "Refinery operations are normal as of now. We are deliberating and may bring down one of the crude units. There is water-logging outside the refinery. Also, manpower is less," Roy said.

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