Kerala floods one month after: Amid financial woes, plywood factory owners keep their chin up

The owner of Amina Industries, a plywood manufacturing unit in Vallam, near Perumbavoor, Faisal has decided to restart his factory even though many of his machines are damaged.

Published: 18th September 2018 04:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2018 04:16 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

PERUMBAVOOR: Faisal TP is distraught and is yet to come to terms with the loss he incurred in the floods. The owner of Amina Industries, a plywood manufacturing unit in Vallam, near Perumbavoor, he has decided to restart his factory even though many of his machines are damaged.

Faisal’s unit is not the only one to bear the brunt of the worst floods in a century. There are over 400 plywood factories in this municipal town in the northeastern tip of Ernakulam. Perumbavoor’s economy mostly revolves around the plywood and sawmill units, which also provide jobs for thousands of workers from northern states, including UP, Bihar and West Bengal. The hustle and bustle is back in the area as they have started returning to factories.

“Sitting and counting the losses would not lead us anywhere,” Faisal told Express. “So we decided to start the factory with available machines. However, financial aid is the immediate requirement as several machines are still damaged.”

Faisal said he incurred a loss of around Rs 70 lakh in the floods. The government has promised Rs 10 lakh worth interest-free loans for the industries, but that is insufficient for them to restart the business. Around 40 plywood factories in Perumbavoor suffered considerable damage and 30 were partially affected.

Each factory incurred losses ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore. “Even the banks are not providing the amount promised by the government. We recently approached our bank to get the interest-free loan promised by the government. However, bank officials are unaware of such a loan,” said Faisal.

Azees Pandiyarpilly, general secretary, Sawmill Owners and Plywood Manufacturers Association (SOPMA), said they had approached the government to raise the loan amount up to Rs 25-30 lakh.



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