Flood woes: Cochin airport's operational losses at Rs 3 billion

The devastating floods in August have resulted in a loss of Rs 3 billion for Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL). 

The airport administration is formulating a plan to ensure that such disasters do not hamper its operations in future.

“Our estimates are that the operational and material losses to the airport due to the floods are around Rs 3 billion. A detailed survey is under way for insurance claims,” said a senior official from CIAL. The operations of the airport was suspended for more than a fortnight, from August 15, as the water from the nearby river inundated the runway.

CIAL has resumed full scale operations on August 29, after addressing various damages, including collapse of a 2,600 metres of a perimeter wall.

The company is creating a master plan with Kitco, the technical consultancy organisation under the state government and the Kerala irrigation department, to meet emergency situations like the floods or similar natural calamities. The consultants are in talks with neighbouring local self governments and have started irrigation surveys as well.

“We have also parallely formulated some measures to avoid such a situation in the future. We are building a regulator-cum-bridge at the mouth of the Periyar where the Chengalthodu canal diverts flood waters from the main river,” the official said. 

To avoid people from getting isolated during floods and to facilitate easy evacuation, CIAL will be building four to five bridges over the canal. The company will also increase depth of the diversion canal.

CIAL is also bringing in two Dutch consultants to take their opinion on the master plan, since they have expertise in tackling flood-related problems in such a scenario.

Almost two weeks after the floods started receding in many places, some of the companies also came out with estimates on losses. For instance, tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres said it suffered a loss of around 3,000 MT, though the consequential loss of profit is not significant.

The company’s two manufacturing facilities in Kerala – Perambra and Kalamassery – are now nearing normalcy. Production operations in these plants were affected as the employees couldn’t reach office due to heavy floods in the state. 

There is no damage to equipment or property, and all the employees of the company are safe.

Production losses due to the natural calamity are adequately covered under the insurance policy of the company. The company is in the process of assessing the exact quantum of loss, which will be claimed from the insurance company in due course.

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