Essential commodities such as water, milk, kerosene and petroleum products have gone scarce in Cuddalore district following the disruption in supply and transportation owing to road block caused by trees that were uprooted by the cyclonic storm.

Residents were scampering for water all over the district because they could not get protected water supply from municipal taps and private tanker supply. The civic body could not maintain the supply line owing to power failure and so was the case with private suppliers. Even mineral water supply was not available.

Milk was in short supply and Aavin booths went dry. Private milk booths reported no supply and people were seen scurrying from one vendor to another.

There were long queues at petrol bunks and a separate line was seen with persons carrying bottles and cans. As there was no power from Friday morning, the entire district plunged into darkness. While some residents managed with inverters, a majority of them, particularly hutment dwellers, were having a harrowing time as they could neither get kerosene nor candles.

Senior officials have been specially deployed by the State government to organise relief works. A senior officer told The Hindu that priority was to restore power supply.

However, officials are facing an uphill task in restoring power supply because several electric posts were uprooted and many transformers damaged. The Superintending Engineer of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has expressed confidence that power supply could be restored in Cuddalore town within three days. Additional man power was mobilised from elsewhere in the State. However, in rural areas it would be a week before power supply is restored.

As regards tackling short supply of kerosene, 60 kilolitres would be drawn from the State reserve to be supplied to card-holders through the public distribution system. Petroleum products to the extent of 12,000 litres would be mobilised from Nagapattinam immediately. Until the power situation improves, the civic bodies would press 40 tankers into service to supply water to residents.

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