Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Heavy rains predicted in coastal TN as Chennai limps back to normal

An aerial view shows a flooded residential colony in Chennai. (REUTERS)

Chennai woke up to a bright and sunny morning on Monday though the met department has predicted heavy rains across coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Cuddalore, however, continues to be badly affected, with rescue teams being rushed there fearing further damage.
Meanwhile in Chennai, fears remain over what a fresh bout of rains could mean for the ongoing relief operations, as the city continued to limp back to normalcy.
Status of international flights, scheduled to begin operations on Monday, remained unclear following the weather forecast though domestic flights took off from the city’s airport on Sunday.
As inundated waters receded in different parts of Chennai, it gave way to a flood of complaints over the tardy relief measures by the government. Over 60% of the city’s residents have been affected, both those in hutments and in swanky multi-story residences facing shortage of food, and requiring basic amenities.
For most of these people, the rains have washed out their valuables including vehicles and gadgets.

Flood affected people stand in a long queue to get relief materials at Kotturpuram, one of the worst flood-hit localities in Chennai on Sunday. (PTI)

As many as 14,32,924 people have been rescued and housed in relief camps in Chennai and neighbouring districts of Cuddalore, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, the government said in a statement.
Rough estimates of cumulative losses seem likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore.
The Chennai central station and Egmore station, the two railway stations in the city, have become operational again after a week. Long distance trains also resumed, albeit with delayed schedules.

Passengers wait in a queue to board a train at the Egmore Railway Station in Chennai after Southern Railway decided to resume operations on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

As part of the overall efforts to improve supplies of essential commodities, 11 state-run mobile fresh farm outlets began sale of vegetables.
The Chennai Corporation said 24,500 sanitation personnel, including 2,000 personnel from other districts were on the field to clear garbage and tidy up the city.
However, with medical camps and relief centres operating at full capacity, the prediction of heavy rainfall would mean further strain to an already strained system.
Opposition DMK, meanwhile, stepped up its attack on the government with its leader MK Stalin, who visited flood-affected areas, criticizing the AIADMK-run government for not talking to people and listening to their troubles.

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