Chennai hoteliers, airport officials on alert with more rains forecast

The 2015 floods had taught star hoteliers in Chennai important lessons on managing people, efficient usage of resources.
Delhi Rains

Chennai, Nov 8 : Hoping that the rains and the water-logging in Chennai this time around will not be a repeat of the horrible December 2015, hoteliers and Chennai airport officials are, nevertheless, on alert.

“The visibility is normal and there are no major flight cancellations. We are monitoring the water level in the Adyar river. There will not be a repeat of the 2015 flood this time around. Nevertheless, we are alert,” a senior official in Chennai Airport told IANS.

According to him, after the 2015 Chennai floods, the airport has doubled its monsoon preparedness effort.

“The weather man has predicted incessant rains. We are monitoring the situation. The airport is functioning as usual. In 2015, the airport was closed due to floods,” the airport official added.

Similarly, star hotels learning from the 2015 Chennai floods are also geared up to meet the emerging situation.

“One of the major lessons learnt during 2015 floods by the hoteliers in Chennai was the usage of resources in an optimal manner,” Prakash Jayadevan, General Manager of 167-room Trident Hotel which is part of the Oberoi Group, told IANS.

Queried about how the hotel located near the Chennai airport is geared up, he said: “We have our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). We have extra pumps to pump out water in case of stagnation. The rain water harvesting pits have been cleaned.”

Asked about the stocks position, he said: “Normally we will have stock of provisions and others for four/five days. Similarly, we have sufficient stock of water bottles. We have a good stock of diesel to run our generators in case of any power failure.”

“We have provisions for one week. We have engaged people to clear the canal near our property in T.Nagar so that there is free flow of water and no overflowing,” T. Nataraajan, CEO, GRT Hotels & Resorts, told IANS.

In 2015, the GRT group’s Grand Chennai in the T.Nagar locality was closed down due to floods.

The hotel had opened its doors for the poor residents living nearby who were affected by the floods. Apart from shelter, the hotel also provided food for the poor in 2015.

Nataraajan hopes there will not be a repeat of 2015 floods but nevertheless he is concerned.

“The water level on the roads has not gone down even after the rains stopped for a couple of hours,” he said.

The hoteliers told IANS that they have not received any enquiries from any marooned citizens querying about room availability.

The 2015 floods had taught star hoteliers in Chennai important lessons on managing people, efficient usage of resources.

An executive chef of a five star property had told IANS that they had to cook for 1,500 people – 600 in-house guests and around 800 people working in nearby software park holed up in the property due to floods – with existing provisions as fresh supplies were stopped.

He said the property reduced the number of dishes in the buffet along with the prices.

As for bottled water for drinking, he said 20-litre bubble top cans totaling 240 were collected from employees’ homes and brought to the hotel.

Post floods, managing the new guests and making them understand the problems faced by the city was also a challenge as supplies took time to arrive.

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