Schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts closed today

Many areas in the city and suburbs were struggling to come back to normality as rains continued to lash several parts of Chennai, or because the aftermath of the previous days' showers was too severe for residents to cope with.

With the rains playing hide-and-seek most of Sunday, it dampened weekend plans for many. Schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, get extended holidays with Monday also being declared closed.

The Chennai Corporation's helpline (1913) received over 160 calls from residents from various localities. While some waited to see if the civic body's team would pump out excess water from their area, many such as P. Karunakaran, a resident of Poonamallee, Senneerkuppam, sent his children to his relative's place as there were no signs of water receding.

In many localities such as Raja Street, near Pondy Bazaar, the vinyl board kept as barricade around incomplete storm water drains went missing with the strong winds and rains. The median on the Rajiv Gandhi Salai, near the Lifeline Hospital junction was also not to be seen as rain water clogged the stretch. Vehicles inched ahead to move on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, especially near CMBT as water flooded the stretch.

The fears of residents living on the banks of reservoirs only compounded as excess water was let out from Chembarambakkam Lake into the Adyar river. According to Public Works Department officials, the reservoir had touched a height of 20.7 ft (maximum being 24 feet). Close to 3,500 cubic feet per second of water was released and five sluice gates were opened to let out the excess water. An upset B. Govindrajan, ward counsellor and a resident of Thiruvalluvar Nagar in Mugalivakkam, said: “There are 14-15 areas that get affected being a catchment area. We are at the receiving end every time excess water from the reservoir is left out.”

The observatories in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 13.5 mm and 5.3 mm of rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 8.30 p.m.

Woes continue

The arterial roads in Pulianthope and Dr. Ambedkar Road had water stagnating in more than one place. “The motor does not work here so the water is stagnant. The contractors are saying they won't provide the diesel,” said Murugan, a resident of Kannigapuram. The problem of drainage water getting mixed with drinking water is regular problem cited by many residents here. “The 10-feet entrance to our street is stagnated with water and no garbage collection van or metro water van can come in. It is been four days, but the water level is not subsiding,” said Thomas of Canal Street. With trucks and lorries parked on one side of Stephenson road, the water logging has only worsened the traffic. Most roads on Perambur High road too paint a similar picture but the congestion of traffic is severe in areas, including some parts of Paper mills road. Areas near Chetpet railway station, new Avadi Road and Villivakkam also faced problems of water logging.

Water had collected on the ground floor of many houses in Madiappakam and Velachery. Lack of storm water drains and incomplete construction of sewerage lines continue to be the saga in suburbs.

Rescue operations

At least two calls were attended by the police helpline (100) to remove uprooted trees on Muthialpet and Cement Road, Vepery. The Chennai Corporation distributed 20,000 food packets for residents of slum localities in low-level areas. Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy and Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan visited areas such as Ayanavaram, Kolathur and Perambur. Officials were instructed to take measures on a war footing to clear garbage on roads and repair streetlights.

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