Likely damage worth up to $1 bn caused by cyclone; insurance sector should expedite claim settlement
Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has appealed to its members and industrialists to come to the aid of thousands of people evacuated following the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Vardah which has struck Chennai.
ASSOCHAM has recommended the industry both in the public and private sectors to set up rapid response units under the aegis of their respective CSR (corporate social responsibility) divisions to collect donations to provide vital supplies (food, clothing, beds, blankets and other essential relief items like tarpaulins, water purification equipment and medicines) for people who have been evacuated and shifted to relief shelters.
“The hurricane-strength storm caused by cyclone Vardah uprooted trees, overturned cars and caused extensive damage to buildings, besides it has also significantly hit agricultural sector, destroying banana plantations, papaya groves, rice paddies and others thereby causing widespread destruction worth up to $1 billion,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.
“Local Fishery trade, poor supply of power and supplies due to logistics crunch in both urban and rural areas, extensive damage to crops due to incessant rains, loss of livestock, damage to private property, problems in ferrying passengers and transporting goods owing to cancellation of flights, trains, road blockades may significantly hit the region’s economy,” said Mr Rawat.
“The cyclone might also have a short-term impact on the tourism industry of southern India, a leading economic activity, especially in Tamil Nadu which accounts for a good 10 per cent share in total investments attracted by hospitality sector across India,” he added.
“Though total cost of damage resulting from output lost as a result of disruption to economic activity and the cost of rebuilding homes and infrastructure, remains unclear, arriving at a clearer assessment could be reached within a couple of months’ time,” further said Mr Rawat.
ASSOCHAM has also appealed to the insurance industry to constitute special teams to expedite settlement of claims of people hit by the cyclone.