KOCHI: The District Industries Centre (DIC) on Saturday said it had received compensation claims for flood losses totalling over Rs 500 crore from industries in the district during the post-flood assessment drive which ended on October 4. “We are still in the process of compiling the list, but major losses were reported from the timber processing industry in Perumbavoor, units in the Edayar industrial area and rice processing units at Kalady. After verification, the claims will be submitted to the government for its consideration,” said a DIC officer.
Various industry bodies have slammed the government over its failure to announce interim relief measures for the flood-hit units to restart production. “The government till date has not delivered on its promise of interest-free loans and loan repayment moratorium for the industries in the state to recover lost ground. A majority of the 70-flood-affected units at Edayar are yet to resume functioning since they are struggling to make both ends meet,” said Sojan Joseph, Edayar Small Scale Industries Association (ESSIA) president.
The DIC, though, claims over 90 per cent of the industries in the district had resumed full-production and it expects the government to provide compensation for the losses soon. Scores of units which have reported delay in restarting production are hamstrung by financial woes since the small-scale industries are unable to absorb the losses without assistance. Also, very many industries did not have insurance cover. A bailout from the state is their lone hope.
The Saw Mill Owners and Plywood Manufacturers’ Association had claimed Perumbavoor, home to 450-odd timber processing units - majority of which were inundated in the deluge - has suffered damage to the tune of Rs 100 crore. The ESSIA had intimated the Industries Department of an immediate loss of Rs 75 crore as floodwater washed away tonnes of stock, inundated machinery and crippled business. With 30 of the 70 agro mills in and around Kalady ravaged by the floods, industry estimates put the total loss at Rs 160 crore.