Rain plays havoc, uprooting trees and damaging roads; woman electrocuted
Chennai experienced a monsoon-like situation on Tuesday as the rainfall overnight left low-level areas inundated, slowed down rush-hour traffic and resulted in the death of a 52-year-old woman in Pallavaram.
According to Meteorological Department officials, a trough extending up to east coast of India and south of Chennai triggered the thunderstorm activity. The observatories in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 4 cm and 6 cm rainfall respectively during the 24-hour period ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday. The rain gauge at Anna University registered the highest of 11 cm, followed by Tiruvallur with 8 cm and Mamallapuram with 5 cm.
Giving details of the electrocution case, Pallavaram police said B.Valliammal was a resident of Aattuthotti and her husband runs a vegetable shop. On Monday evening, owing to the rain and strong wind, overhead power supply cables snapped and fell on the road. Valliammal died after stepping on a live cable near her house.
The rain also wrecked havoc by uprooting trees and damaging roads. As it rained till early morning, many schools declared holiday on Tuesday.
Commuters had to walk through slushy stretches as many bus terminuses such as those in Broadway and Vadapalani were inundated. Office-goers had a tough time negotiating inundated arterial roads. V.Devan, a resident of Chinmaya Nagar, said rush hour traffic worsened at the Koyambedu junction of Jawaharlal Nehru Salai as the stretch was flooded. This was the case in most areas as portions of the carriageway could not be used due to water logging.
The rain damaged the roads in and around the Koyambedu market affecting business. S.Chandran, a trader said the market was flooded as stormwater drain network was not functioning properly. This resulted in less arrivals of produce and the sales were dull.
Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister K.P. Munusamy inspected Ganesapuram subway in Vyasarpadi, which gets flooded even after a small spell and the work to desilt Otteri Nullah.
He chaired a meeting of officials from various departments to discuss monsoon preparedness. He advised them to expedite desilting works and keep ready motors to pump out rainwater and catamarans to help stranded residents.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said zonal officers had been instructed to inspect the vehicular subways in the city and submit a report in four days.
Rains lash southern suburbs
The heavy rain since Monday evening disrupted normal life in the southern suburbs, with roads damaged and power supply cables severed. Tambaram recorded 4 cm of rainfall.
Arterial roads such as Pallavaram – Thoraipakkam Radial Road and Velachery Main Road bore the brunt of damages with potholes.
Vehicles took longer than usual to negotiate narrow stretches of Velachery Main Road in Selaiyur, Medavakkam and Camp Road junction. Apart from the arterial roads, interior streets in residential localities also suffered extensive damage.
The stagnated water, coupled with accumulated garbage on the road margins exposed the residents to health hazards.
“The north east monsoon is still away, but the rains in the evening hours are enough to cause severe problems,” said S.Thirunavukkarasu, a resident of Sadasivam Nagar, Madipakkam.
He said that stagnant sewage let out by some apartments into vacant plots would spill over on to the roads. Schoolchildren have no other option than to wade through it. As the roads were slushy, school vans refuse to enter the interior streets, he added.
The Meteorological Department forecast for Wednesday said that rain or thundershower is likely in some areas during evening or night.
Keywords: Chennai monsoon