Industries in Tamil Nadu, especially the auto hub in and around Chennai, that were just about beginning to recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic heaved a sigh of relief after Cyclone Nivar left the state largely unaffected.
The industries have, however, halted production after the state government announced a two-day public holiday in 16 districts as a precautionary measure against the cyclone although the order was only meant for government offices.
There is a high demand for automobiles after the lifting of the lockdown, particularly during the festival period, industry representatives said.
“We feared that the cyclone may affect us in a big way. But there has been no heavy rainfall. The water stagnant in the industrial estate has also cleared quickly. The city authorities have also fixed the power issues. There is no extensive damage,” said Balachandran, president, Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association (AIEMA).
Barring heavy vehicles, there is big demand for all other commercial vehicles. Since there was also a good rainfall, tractors are also selling well, he said.
“The only problem is that raw material suppliers have increased the price. That affects the industry a little,” said Balachandran.
G Dhiraviyam, president, Thirumudivakkam Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association (TIEMA), said the companies in the region have followed the government’s announcement of two-day shutdown as the safety of both the staff and assets are important.
“Though the holiday was meant only for government organisations, we have advised our member companies to stop operations, but they have been allowed to take a decision based on their own discretion. The companies that had to complete orders by Thursday (November 26) operated but with reduced workforce. There was also intermittent power cuts,” he said.
In Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore bore most of the brunt of cyclone Nivar as it experienced heavy spells of rain. Companies in the district are water logged, but the district administration says there is no damage, said Ashok, president, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME) Association, Cuddalore.
“Besides water logging, there is no power. Trees fell on the machineries at working sites of some companies. But the general manager of district industries centre, without visiting the site, has given a report to the district administration saying there is no damage to industries,” he said.