Loss due to Michaung could be around Rs 11,000 cr

Chennai: The loss due to the heavy rains that came with Cyclone Michaung which hit Chennai and neighbouring districts, is expected to be over Rs.11,000 crores, K. E. Raghunathan, national President of Association of Indian Entrepreneurs said in a statement.

He said the estimate has been segregated into business loss due to production being stopped, machinery or asset loss and material loss. Raghunathan said the population in KTCC (Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Chennai and Chengalpattu districts) in Tamil Nadu alone is assumed to be 1.75 crore with over 3.50 lakh industries spread over 12 SIDCO/SIPCOT constructed industrial estates at Kakkalur, Thirumalisai, Gummidipoondi, Ambattur, Guindy, Thirumudiwakkom, Oragadam, Siruseri, Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram, Kodungaiyur, Maraimalainagar apart from the private industrial parks and IT sector office buildings.

“The last few days have made life at KTCC districts in Tamil Nadu miserable for many,” Raghunathan said. “There are sections of people like street vendors, micro and small-scale industries, gig workers like mobile app-based delivery agents, auto and taxi drivers with their own vehicles, daily wage earners, contractors, perishable goods sellers, show room and traders situated in water logging areas whose life has gone for a toss. They number close to about 25 lakhs of people in these four districts.”

He said that the TN government should have a high level team visit all the industrial estates to ascertain the extent of damage and drain or pump out water and restore power on priority. Creating larger storm water drains should be also high on the agenda while ensuring that there is protection from lake water entry points for those estates prone to lake breach by constructing an obstruction wall around.

“Raise all Electricity Board (EB) cable, transformer, distribution box, meter above water level to a minimum of 10 feet from ground level to not to cut power during such times,” Raghunathan said. “Cancel for three months EB fixed charges, property tax, metro water and sewerage taxes from all those establishments situated in the four districts to allow them liquidity and recovery time.”

In addition to these measures, he said a facilitation centre should be set up at each estate for faster insurance claims settlement, in partnership with the industrial associations at the respective locations and conduct a camp to ascertain claims. Further, he said TIIC should offer affected industries in these districts loan at concessional interest – loan to refurbish or repair or get new machines spoiled due to rain.”

He also said the government should offer raw materials on credit to micro and small enterprises through TANSI and also write to the RBI to offer three months moratorium for term loans or offer that as loan from TIIC immediately. The government should also clear all pending payments held by SU and Government Departments to help companies have sufficient cash flow while keeping all GST notices and other claims pending for three months so that they are focused on recovery.

“During the upcoming Global Investor Meet – TN Government must decentralise large Industries in and around Madurai area so as to decongest KTCC,” he said. “This has become evident as it is impossible to hold any further dense population in KTCC.”

William Murphy

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