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Madras HC warns Chennai civic body for failing to prevent floods during rains

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Chennai: With incessant rains killing at least 5 people in Chennai and damaging several houses in the past few days, the Madras High Court on Tuesday warned the Greater Chennai Corporation for failing to take adequate measures to prevent flooding in the city during heavy rains.

Also Read :- Tamil Nadu: Schools, colleges to remain shut in these districts after heavy rain warning

The High Court also sought to know what the civic body was doing for the past six years following the devastating floods in 2015. The high court also warned the civic body of suo motu proceedings if the present situation was not brought under control.

The warning came as Chennai and several suburbs in Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts witnessed heavy rainfall since Saturday.

Five dead, 70 houses damaged

At last five people have died due to rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu and over 260 huts and over 70 houses have been damaged. Surplus rainwater gushed out of reservoirs while several roads here resembled swollen rivers and four persons were killed in rain-related incidents across Tamil Nadu.

The state authorities have alerted the people living in low-lying areas. The Poondi, Cholavaram, Puzhal, Chembarmbakkam and Thervai Kandigai reservoirs here and Veeranam lake, about 230 kilometres from here released surplus water, which was cumulatively a little over 10,000 cusecs of water, as showers continued in catchment areas.

Also Read :- IMD: Heavy rain likely to continue over Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry for next 3 days

The Mettur reservoir in the Salem district is expected to touch its full level of 120 feet soon and the discharge of surplus water is expected on Tuesday. People have been alerted and local authorities advised to move residents of low lying areas to safer locations.

With the catchment areas of the Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka receiving heavy rains, the inflow of water to the dam was over 27,000 cusecs, almost touching 118 feet, official sources said. Coimbatore district administration also sounded an alert to people living in along banks of the Noyyal river in view of continuing rains.

Vellore district authorities said the discharge from Ponnai Anaicut was increased to about 6,364 cusecs by evening. In view of the release of surplus water from reservoirs, an alert was sounded to people in their respective regions.

In Chennai, most roads and bylanes were covered under sheets of water while there was water upto two feet in low lying localities. Power supply has also been disconnected for several neighbourhoods considering safety.

A flooded city police station, Adambakkam had to be shifted to a temporary building. At least 75 trees got uprooted here and these were cleared by civic personnel. Monsoon rains picked pace for a while and receded for some time, playing hide and seek through the day, here and in several other regions including the northern districts.

A section of subways here and in suburbs continued to be closed and traffic diversions too were on, giving road users a harrowing time even as civic workers slogged to remove silt and de-clog drains.

Also Read :- 2 Dead, 3 injured after 100-year-old building collapses in Chennai amid heavy rains

Minimal train services due to rains & waterlogging

Southern Railway said due to rains and water-logging, the ‘Sunday pattern’ (minimal services) would be in force on November 9 in Chennai suburban train services in Central-Arakkonam, Central-Sullurpeta (Andhra Pradesh), Beach-Chengelpet and Beach-Velachery sections.

Of the 290 water-logged areas, floodwater was drained using heavy equipment in 59 localities and swift action is on to pump out floodwater in the remaining 231 neighbourhoods, the government said in an official release.

Four persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Chennai, Theni and Madurai districts ‘in the past 24 hours and 16 heads of cattle died, the release added. Of the 16 city subways that witnessed flooding, water has been drained in 14 of them and the remaining two would also be free of rainwater soon, the authorities said.

As many as 237 huts were partially damaged and 26 completely and 65 and 5 houses were partially and fully damaged respectively.
The government said 37 districts received rainfall and the state average was 14.2 millimetres (1.42 CM) for the past 24-hours.

Since the start of the northeast monsoon last month and till date Tamil Nadu has recorded about 43 per cent rainfall above normal. While the normal is 241.2 MM (24.12 CM), the state recorded 346.1 MM (34.61 CM).

In Chennai, as of now, 1,107 people have been sheltered in 48 relief camps and in total 3,58,500 food packets have been provided. Similarly, in the northern districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengelpet and Tiruvallur 314 people have been housed in 10 shelters and they are being provided food and all other basic amenities.

Also Read :- Tamil Nadu Witnesses record rains for Chennai and its suburbs; schools to remain closed

IMD warns of more rainfall

The Meteorological department advised ‘alert’ and preparedness on Tuesday for Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Theni, Tenkasi and Tirunelveli districts. In a bulletin, the department said the cyclonic circulation over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining South Andaman sea, extending up to 5.8 kilometres above the mean sea level, persists.

Under its influence, a low-pressure area is very likely to form over the southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during the next 24 hours. It is likely to move west northwestwards, concentrate into a depression and reach near north Tamil Nadu coast by November 11, early morning and bring widespread rainfall in several regions of the state, the bulletin said.

Fishermen were advised to not venture into sea for fishing between November 9 and 12.

NDRF teams deployed

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister KKSSR Ramachandran said two teams of NDRF personnel have been deployed in Madurai and one team each in Chengelpet and Tiruvallur. Similarly, the state disaster response teams are stationed in Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts.

The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services wing is on alert mode with all the necessary equipment, he said. The 24 x 7 state control room here and those in districts could be contacted through the toll-free numbers 1070 and 1077 respectively, the Minister said.

People may also get in touch with authorities of Greater Chennai Corporation by using the 1913 toll-free number.

CM Stalin distributes food, relief material in Chennai

For the second consecutive day, Chief Minister M K Stalin inspected affected areas and gave away flood relief assistance to affected people at Royapuram here. MP and former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran was also present during the distribution of food and other relief materials at the venue in Royapuram.

Also in attendance was DGP C Sylendra Kumar and a team of senior police and revenue department officials. To clear water-logging, inundation of subways and rain related tasks, Greater Chennai Corporation deployed 23,000 personnel who slogged amid showers to restore normalcy. Stalin has appointed 15 IAS officials to monitor relief work in 15 corporation zones.

As many as 200 special monsoon medical camps were held, in which 3,776 people received medical assistance. A total of 152 fever cases, 165 cases related to skin infections and over 2,600 other cases were treated, the corporation said.

Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said of about 44,50,000 power connections in the Chennai distribution circle, only 12,297 connections were disconnected, considering safety. “Power supply will be restored expeditiously with the receding of floodwaters and rains,” the Minister tweeted.

Though state-run bus services here and in other neighbouring regions continued to ply, there was a disruption in services on several routes. Metrorail services were not affected.

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