Open plots inundated in a few low-lying areas; sustained showers expected to help farmers in rain-fed areas

Normal life was disrupted in the city and other parts of the district on Wednesday owing to incessant rain under the influence of cyclonic storm Nilam, which crossed the coast near Chennai in the evening.

Though not heavy, light to moderate showers lashed the city right through the day. Accompanied by chilly wind, the rain brought down the temperature sharply and dampened the Deepavali festival trade. There was a let-up in the rain by evening. With schools in the district remaining shut for the day, traffic in most of the roads remained thin.

With not much water flow in the Cauvery as the discharge from Mettur dam was reduced over the past few days and stopped on Wednesday, city residents in flood-prone areas are spared of the usual apprehension over possible inundation.

Nevertheless, open plots were inundated in a few low-lying colonies as were a few roads across the city.

Although the corporation had taken up a drive to clean up drainages, the task has not been fully completed yet, resulting in overflow of open drains in some places, especially along the Madurai Road and Pattabiraman Pillai Street.

In some places, the rain caused overflow of underground sewage as in Selva Nagar.

“A few manholes in the area have been overflowing into the open plots and the sewage has headed up in a few houses,” said C.Balasubramanian, a resident of the locality and president of the District Exnora.

The rain brought down a roadside tree at Valayalkara Street-Bhoologanathar Street at Woraiyur, making it the sole rain-related incident in the district.

Though the tree fell over an overhead electricity line, district authorities moved in quickly on being alerted by a resident.Fire and rescue service personnel cut and removed the tree, preventing any damage. None was injured.

The sustained rain would benefit farmers in rain-fed areas in the district as it would help improve the ground water table and contribute for a rise in the water in wells. Farmers in channel-irrigated areas of the district were also cautiously optimistic saying that the rain as of now would be beneficial for the samba paddy transplantation.

However, if the rain were to become heavy and unrelenting, there could be some damage to the crop.

“The rain will definitely be of help to farmers in rain-fed areas and high lands such as those in dry Thathaiyengarpet belt as it will help recharge the wells.

As for the samba transplantation going on in the channel-irrigated areas, we have to wait and see.

There could be some damage if the rain became heavy and unrelenting,” said P.Ayyakannu, State vice president, Bharathiya Kisan Sangam.

But till Wednesday evening, the rain did not bring much inflow into the 98 rain-fed tanks under the control of the Ariyar division in the district, according to an officer of the division.

Both the Ariyar and River Conservation Division have however put their staff on alert to monitor the situation. Sand bags have been kept in readiness, especially at vulnerable places, as part of the monsoon preparedness.