Rains force automobile companies to shut production at Uttarakhand plants

Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland have shut down production at their Pantnagar plants as a precautionary measure. Tata Motors, which also has a plant in the same area, is believed to have followed suit.

Representational image.

Representational image.

Production at most of the automotive and component manufacturing plants at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand has come to a standstill following incessant rain that has claimed at least 34 lives in the hilly state.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) carried out rescue operations at several waterlogged areas in Rudrapur while the Indian Air Force (IAF) pressed three Dhruv helicopters for flood relief efforts at Pantnagar.

Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland have shut down production at their Pantnagar plants as a precautionary measure. Tata Motors, which also has a plant in the same area is believed to have followed suit.

While two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto makes CT, Platina and Pulsar brand of motorcycles at the Pantnagar plant, commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland produces trucks from there. Tata Motors makes small commercial vehicles, including the Ace mini truck from its Pantnagar plant.

A senior Bajaj Auto official confirmed that the production had to be stopped at the plant. “It is difficult to state when production will be back on stream. There is no damage to the plant as such and all our employees are safe,” said the senior executive.

An Ashok Leyland spokesperson also confirmed the shutdown stating “today the (Pantnagar) plant was shut due to incessant rains.”

“Production has come to an absolute standstill. Everyone has shut production. It’s flooded badly everywhere,” said an auto component manufacturer of electrical components who supplies to Tata Motors.

Two other major automotive brands that have manufacturing plants in Uttarakhand – Hero MotoCorp and Mahindra & Mahindra – have not been affected by the downpour since their plant is located at Haridwar.

“Our manufacturing operations at the plant has not been affected and production continues as scheduled,” said a Hero MotoCorp spokesperson.

Swaraj Baggonkar


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