Srinagar: Car service centres in Srinagar are flooded with vehicles damaged due to the September floods.
Most of the flood hit vehicles are jostling for Electronic Controlling Modules, popularly known as ECM. Abdul Raheem, chairman Raheem Group of companies owning Raheem Motors while talking to Kashmir Reader said that in the past eight years they have replaced four ECMs but today every flood hit car needs a replacement. “Even in accidents ECMs remain intact but in recent floods they are totally damaged,” he said.
Seconding his thoughts, Masood Hussain, general manager services at KC Hyundai said that in two years he has replaced only one ECM but now they have to order them in bulk.
“ECM is like mother board of the car,” said Masood. He said so far their service centre has 325 cars that are in process. “While 450 cars are yet to drop at our service station as only after the first line is finished we will be able to take them,” said he.
At Jamkash Vehicleads there are 1500 flood hit vehicles registered that need to be repaired. “Repair is no option. Parts need to be replaced and supply of such a huge number of car parts is not an easy job,” Irfan Ahmad, managing director Jamkash Vehicleads told Kashmir Reader.
“Procurement of such a huge quantity of parts for vehicles takes time,” he said. Citing example of Maruti 800, which is no longer manufactured, he said the parts for such vehicle are first ordered and the manufacturer needs guarantee that the parts manufactured there off will be sold out.
“Three hundred cars are ready to be delivered but some parts need to be replaced and we are waiting for them,” he said.
Baldev Singh, managing director of Peaks automobile said even after delivering 30-40 cars a day it will still take them two months to clear all the vehicles. “The process we have to follow is like a manufacturing unit, and still we are managing to deliver 40 cars a day.”
According to Baldev the demand of spare parts from Valley has led them to airlift the parts to Srinagar.
From ECMs to clutch system all are to be replaced not repaired, service centres say. “Nearly 29-30 parts of the vehicles are to be replaced,” Rahim said.
According to service stations it will take them approximately 4 months to deliver all the vehicles to their customers. Service providers asked their customers to bear with them as these are not usual operational times.
“When you have dearth of parts no reference is going to help car owners. We understand that it is heart wrenching to see a valuable car in a despicable condition but then we have procedures to follow,” Rahim commented.
According to Baldev they only deliver the car to customer after testing and it takes a day to test the car. “We have to make sure that the car has recovered fully.
“This is the story of all the workshops and customers should understand under what pressure we are working in,” said Baldev.
“Hyundai parts are to be acquired from Korea and the supply is continuing but owing to such a huge demand it will always take time,” Masood said.
To cater to such a huge rush of vehicles the service centres also brought human resources from outside the state.
Hyundai brought a team from Mumbai who had the experience of 2006 Mumbai floods.
“Their feedback has been a useful asset but the magnitude of flood has been immense as compared to what has happened there,” Masood said.
According to Irfan 60 of his workers lost their households in floods and they had to bring a sixty member team from outside Kashmir.