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Rain cramps business in Punjab, Haryana

July 08, 2010 11:50 IST

Heavy rainfall in the last 48 hours has brought industrial activities to a halt. The scientific instruments cluster of Ambala that has over 1,000 micro, small and medium enterprises, is the worst hit.

Ashwani Goel, president of The Ambala Scientific Instruments Manufacturers' Association, said: "Water started gushing in at about 5 am on Tuesday morning. By the time we got any clue, our consignments and machinaries had already submerged in knee-deep water."

The entire cluster had been hit, said Neeraj Garg, director, Oriental Scientific Apparatus Works, one of the oldest outfits in the region. "The cluster would have a loss of about Rs 20 crore (rs 2 million) to Rs 25 crore (Rs 2.5 million)."

He said most entrepreneurs normally availed of insurance for transit. Since consignments lying on companies' floors were not insured, they would suffer losses. It might take a few days to resume operations.

The incessant rain and the breach in the Ghaggar and Tangri (tributaries of the Yamuna) rivers have flooded most of Ambala and Kurukshetra.

The heavy downpour, followed by floods in Haryana that have affected road and rail network, came as impediment to the industries in Ludhiana. Since most business towns in Punjab and Haryana are landlocked, movement of goods has become difficult.

The rail traffic on Ludhiana-Ambala-Delhi section has been diverted, while trains on the Ambala-Chandigarh-Kalka route has been suspended. Industrialists from Ludhiana maintained suspension of traffic had affected business houses in the region.

Ajit Lakra of Superfine Knitters said the textile industry in Ludhiana had to delay supply of fabric due to rains. S C Ralhan, regional chairman of EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council), maintained the engineering goods manufacturers in the region were facing tough times due to the rains.

He said with movement of goods suffering for the last two days, manufacturers were finding it difficult to push their orders. The industry was worried that there might be delay in despatches due to floods.

Komal Amit Gera & Vikas Sharma
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