The second day of rains saw the city’s infrastructure crumbling; for exasperated residents, travel became a nightmare

Day one of northeast monsoon unleashed a flood of problems for city residents and exposed the unpreparedness of the civic agencies in tackling the troubles that follow heavy rains that lashed Chennai on Friday.

The incessant downpour brought with it- heavy traffic snarls, inundation and worsened the condition of already battered roads. Travelling on city roads proved to be a harrowing experience for many as vehicles were stuck in inching traffic for over two or three hours. Chaos prevailed as motorists tried to negotiate roads covered under sheets of water and it took about half an hour to cross a distance of two km.

S. Ranjith, a resident of Ormes Road, Kilpauk, said: “It is already difficult to travel via Poonamallee High Road that has been narrowed down following Chennai Metrorail work. I had to negotiate flooded Barnaby Road and Flowers Road and wait for long hours in traffic before I could reach office in Egmore.”

Several motorists also complained of risking accidents as potholes were not visible on the flooded roads as in Royapettah, Tondiarpet and Kolathur.

Vehicle breakdowns were a common feature in localities across the city as inundated stretches could not be avoided. Several people had to take a detour on Poonamallee High Road as traffic was diverted from Chennai Central Station till Dasaprakash junction owing to inundation.

Auto rickshaws and share-autorickshaws were packed with people. Several employees completed their work early and attempted to head home.

The newly laid storm water drains were of no use at T. Nagar as streets remained flooded. On Venkatnarayana Road and parts of Mylapore, Chennai Metrowater’s workers resorted to opening manholes to let rainwater flow. Interior roads in T. Nagar have already developed potholes making it difficult to walk let alone drive through them, complained residents.

Motorists who manoeuvred Chennai Tiruvallur High Road described it as nightmarish as the rains worsened the condition of battered arterial road.

Chaos prevailed in Chennai Central Station and Egmore railway station as there was last hour rush to board trains. Several people reached the stations late. However, there was no cancellation of trains. Load shedding in some suburban areas extended beyond the scheduled timing in the morning, much to the dismay of the residents.

Officials of the Meteorological department said that the heavy rains caused by the trough over the Bay of Bengal would continue till the month-end.

The rains for the past two days have significantly contributed to bridge the deficit experienced since October 1. Chennai has received 14 cm of rainfall, which is nearly one cm above normal.

(With inputs from K. Lakshmi, R. Sujatha and Vivek Narayanan)

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