Thane throws life into disarray in Tamil Nadu

Written by R Ravichandran | Chennai | Updated: Dec 31 2011, 09:24am hrs
As cyclone Thane whistled through Puducherry, wreaking havoc, industrial production appeared to be have been set back by at least a month. The cyclone hit the TN coast on Friday, leaving a trail of destruction and throwing life out of gear in Cuddalore and Puducherry. Eighteen people have been reported to be killed so far.

Devendu Bajpai, CEO, REIL Electricals India, said: Going by the current situation, it would take at least 4-8 weeks for industrial production to return to the normal levels as Puducherry has been completely cut off.

To a question, Bajpai said: With most industries closing operations on account of power cut and flooding, the estimated loss is expected it be around Rs 300 crore."

Kolkata-based FMCG Emami's factory at Mettupalayam industrial area declared a day's holiday due to waterlogging and power outage. Whirlpool's factory at Thirubhuvanai village, too, downed shutters.

An Asian Paints plant that manufactures Penterythritol in Cuddalore was damaged by heavy rain. All equipment and material were fully insured and, thus, it will have no impact on production," said a company release.

KS Shetty, vice-president, Hindustan National Glass Industries, said: We have closed down our operations from today as roofsheets at out factory have been damaged. It will take at least two days to restore operations. We have already incurred a loss of R5 crore. While 80% of industries in Puducherry are small-scale, the impact could be around R200-300 crore."

Deepak Kumar, collector, Puducherry district, said: "It is a grim situation on the power front. However, we are confident of restoring normalcy in the next 3-4 days. At least two sugar mills and a few hundred acres of banana plantations have been affected.

Power production in Neyveli Lignite Corporation was also affected due to the cyclone, but it was business as usual at the Kalpakkam nuclear island. The atomic power plant, Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam, was functioning normally, sources said.