CHENNAI: The IT sector was hit hard on Wednesday as rains saw most major companies, especially those with offices lying on the flood prone IT Corridor (Old Mahabalipuram Road), remaining shut. Offices like TCS had announced a holiday for their employees in the city except for a few key personnel who were required to be on the job for projects.
According to a TCS employee, the company had trouble finding the few people who were needed to fill those critical roles because the city has been in the grip of a massive power cut due to incessant rains and the resultant flooding. “They gave leave but needed to have a few people on the job for critical projects who needed to be working from home. However, they could not find many because almost no one was reachable, mobile networks were down and laptops ran out of charge,” said one employee of the company.
Meanwhile, Wipro said that it had made sure that all of its stranded employees had been given accommodation in hotels and other special boarding arrangements have been made. “We are closely monitoring the evolving situation in Chennai. Our staff at Sholinganallur, Chennai have taken complete ownership to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and assets. In addition to accommodation in hotels, special boarding arrangements have been made for those employees who have opted to stay back at the Wipro campus. Food and other essentials are being provided,” it said.
Vitally, it also said that business continuity plans had been invoked for the work being done from its Chennai facility to ensure continued services to customers. As for the flooding that choked work in the IT corridor, the entire stretch of OMR saw intensive flooding. People living in residential areas along the stretches of East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road were among the worst affected. Office goers, however had a tough time navigating through the flooded main roads.
“Though traffic is slow moving along the ECR, driving vehicles, especially two-wheelers is best avoided in these roads. Chances are that the vehicles will breakdown leading to a gridlock. We are lucky as most of the IT companies have declared holidays thus enabling us to manage traffic on OMR,” a traffic police officer said.
While neighbourhoods in Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Injambakkam, Neelankarai areas along ECR were inundated with knee deep water, the situation was worse on the OMR stretch.
In areas like Perungudi, Thoraipakkam, Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery, which have borne the worst of the floods, residents living on the ground floors have shifted to other areas or moved into their neighbours’ places on the first or second floors. “Since morning, we have been trying to bale out the water from our apartment compound. The water is already up to shin height. We are scared if any snakes would sneak into our houses,” 55 year old N.Jebakumari, a resident of AGS Colony in Kottivakkam told Express.