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IT, auto majors suspend operations in flood-hit Chennai

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 02, 2015 19:28 IST
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Hyundai, Ford and Renault have temporarily suspended operations at their plants in Chennai with the city being inundated by the heaviest rainfall in over a century.

Image: Cognizant shut all its 11 offices in the city, Infosys declared today and tomorrow as holidays. Photograph: Reuters
 
 

Major IT and automobile firms, including Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, Hyundai, Ford and Renault, have temporarily closed offices and manufacturing plants in and around the flood-ravaged city. 

While US-listed Cognizant shut all its 11 offices in the city, Infosys declared today and tomorrow as holidays. Though the area around TCS office was largely unaffected by the floods, the firm shut its office for the day keeping in mind employee safety. Cisco has asked its employees to work from home. 

Similarly, automobile companies Hyundai, Ford and Renault have temporarily suspended operations at their plants in Chennai with the city being inundated by the heaviest rainfall in over a century. 

The IT companies, however, maintained that operations were unaffected as alternative measures were put in force including servicing clients from centres outside Chennai, which houses some of the biggest Indian and global IT and outsourcing companies. 

"In view of the situation resulting from incessant rains in Chennai and the meteorological department's forecast of heavy rains, Cognizant offices in Chennai are closed today, December 2. However, there is no disruption to work on critical projects and 24x7 operations support," a Cognizant spokesperson said in response to an e-mailed query. 

Cognizant has its largest presence in the city with 60,000 people across 11 facilities. 

Tata Consultancy Services also said that its offices in Chennai have been shut today but implemented its continuity plans to ensure that there is no impact on business. The company said that all its employee are safe and there is no water logging in any of its offices. 

On the automobiles front, a Hyundai Motor India spokesperson said: "The company has decided not to operate all three shifts today and the first shift tomorrow. We are monitoring the situation closely." 

Hyundai's Chennai plant has a capacity to produce around 6.8 lakh vehicles annually. 

Ford India too has suspended operations at its Chennai plant. "Continued heavy rains in Chennai have resulted in significant flooding in the area with many roads impassable.
For the safety of our employees, we have halted production at our Chennai assembly and engine plants on Wednesday, December 2," a company spokesperson said in a statement. 

Likewise, Renault India said operations at the plant in Chennai have been suspended for a day. 

"Today we are not operating at the plant. The safety of our employees is paramount. We are monitoring the situation closely and resumption of operations will depend entirely on  the weather improving," Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and managing director, Renault India said. 

All the three auto companies said they were monitoring the situation closely and resumption of operations at their plants would be subject to improvement of weather conditions.

Telecom operators such as BSNL, Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone and RCom are offering free talk time and data usage to their customers in the city. Airtel said its services have been partially disrupted due to power failure and the company is working with local authorities to restore them.

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