Manufacturing units of auto companies in Uttarakhand resumed operations on Wednesday, a day after most of them shut the plants for a day due to the flash floods and heavy rains. Some of the major automobile manufacturers, including Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland and their suppliers have their manufacturing bases in the hill state.
As unprecedented rainfall damaged the Himalayan state, drowning houses and people, precipitating floods and washing away bridges, the official death toll climbed over 50 on Wednesday, according to media reports.
Officials at all the aforementioned companies said they closed the plant for a day on Tuesday but resumed operations on Wednesday. They declined to comment on the loss in the production volumes. Suppliers to these manufacturers said the companies will compensate for the production loss in the coming days.
“We had shut down for a couple of days and are now back on track,” said Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto. Bajaj Auto's Pantnagar plant makes Discover and a few more models and has a monthly capacity of 150,000 units.
The production has resumed but it would take another week or so before normalcy can be restored fully as the premises remain waterlogged, said an official at a component maker that is a supplier to Bajaj Auto and other companies that have their factories in the region.
“The company will make up for the loss by making the same models at its Waluj plant. Hence there is unlikely to be any production loss, said the supplier cited above. “The operations have been impacted. Yesterday the industrial area was closed but today we ran operations with low attendance,” said an official at another supplier.
A spokesperson at Tata Motors said the Pantnagar plant was shut on a precautionary basis yesterday and has resumed operations today. Tata Motors makes the Ace among other brands of light commercial vehicles at the unit. It has a capacity to make 1200 vehicles per day and is currently making 650-700 units per day, said a supplier.
Ashok Leyland, which had shut its plant on Tuesday, has also resumed operations, said a company spokesperson.