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Incessant rain compounds Chennai's problems

Staff Reporter

Water enters many homes; people move to relief centres


CHENNAI: The incessant rain in the city and its suburbs on Sunday caused more grief for residents in low-level areas, already reeling under the impact of last week's downpour. Many localities, arterial roads, and the northern and southern suburbs, were inundated.

Power cuts, sewage overflow and vehicle breakdowns were common. People had to wade in waist-deep water in areas including Pulianthope, Vyasarpadi, Ambattur Industrial Estate, Madipakkam, Adambakkam and Chromepet. Buses and trains came as the saving grace as most of them continued to ply, though with some delays.

Rainwater entered many homes in North Chennai. In parts of Pulianthope, Perambur and Vyasarpadi, water rose up to four feet. Many people moved to the relief centres in Corporation schools.

T. Sadagopan, co-ordinator of Thandarai-Pattabiram Consumer Council, said: "The Avadi-Pattabiram Road has been affected. The drainage channels should have been desilted in summer."

Velachery inundated

In South Chennai, the problem of inundation was acute in Ram Nagar and Srinivasa Nagar in the Taramani-Madipakkam area. Flooding on the Velachery Main Road made motoring difficult.

"Water has been stagnant for many days. We are worried about water-borne diseases," Babu, a Ram Nagar resident, said.

The lack of effective storm water drains resulted in flooding of many parts of Tambaram and Chromepet. Nanganallur and Pazhavanthangal were also affected. Kathipara junction was inundated and Chennai Corporation staff pumped out water to clear stretches of the road for traffic flow. Parts of Adyar and Tambaram experienced power cuts and voltage fluctuations due to the early morning squall.

Chennai's unregulated sector — autorickshaw drivers — charged Rs. 150 for a 10-km ride. Call taxis required half hour's notice to reach pick-up points.

Thus, the only option for commuters was public transport.

Thanks to the lean Sunday occupancy, MTC buses came to the rescue, ferrying passengers through flooded areas and stopping on request to board and disembark.

Many motorcycles broke down in waterlogged areas. Motorists soaked in rain were seen wading through water pushing their bikes along. Shows and weekend events were cancelled after relentless rain lashed the city all day.

Relief efforts

The Chennai Corporation has intensified its relief efforts. Over 1.5 lakh affected residents of various parts of the city are housed in Corporation schools, where food, water and medical services are offered, a release here said. The Corporation has urged people to drink only boiled water and consume freshly cooked food.

In case of emergencies, contact the Corporation at 25383783/1330/4670. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board can be reached at 28523064/1787/1812 and the Chennai Metro at 28418436/5312.

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