CHENNAI: The vaunted auto manufacturing belt around Chennai, Detroit of the East, came to a grinding halt Tuesday as the heavy downpour, inundation and considerations of employee safety led to almost every major automobile plant shutting down operations.
Ford, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan, Daimler and Yamaha all shut shop late in the afternoon as safety of employees, most of whom had to travel into the city to reach home and through routes that were steadily getting inundated. All had begun work in the morning. But, Ford India’s manufacturing units were the first to close down among the biggies, when the management decided to stop production at noon. The plant employs around a total of 4,500 workers.
“We started the morning shift without an issue and our plant itself can operate. But as the rains continued, we felt that in the interests of employee safety, we should shut shop and send our employees back. We arranged safe transport for all of them,” said a company spokesperson. The firm’s Global Business Services arm continued to function.
The next to take the decision to power down was the large manufacturing unit for Nissan in Sriperumbudur. Having gone through the morning shift, the company decided to cancel operations for its two shifts that begin work after 2 pm.
Hyundai too saw a majority of workers show up for the first two shifts. However, the company cancelled operations for the two following shifts. Yamaha’s brand new motorcycle plant stopped operations at 3 pm and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles stopped work at 2.30 pm. All of these plants have put off taking a decision for Wednesday’s shifts until further clarity is achieved on conditions in the city.
Vandalur flooded for 1st time in yrs
For the first time in decades, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park has been flooded. According to authorities, rain water had also entered the animal and bird enclosures. Park has been shut for Wednesday to allow water to come down.