Schools, colleges in city to remain closed today

The coastal parts of the State on Monday got no respite from heavy rain and the toll in rain-related incidents went up to 181.

The Meteorological Department, in a bulletin, stated that the low pressure area over Southwest Bay off the coast of Tamil Nadu became a well marked low pressure area over the same area. It might concentrate into a depression.

During the 24-hour-period that ended at 8-30 a.m. on Monday, Kelambakkam (Kancheepuram district) registered 17 cm; Mahabalipuram (Kancheepuram) 13 cm, while observatories at the office of Director-General of Police and Anna University-Guindy recorded 11 cm each and Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam 10 cm each.

The government announced that schools and colleges in Chennai would remain closed on Tuesday too.

Tiruvarur accounted for the death of 28 persons; Villupuram – 27; Cuddalore – 22 and Madurai and Thanjavur – 10 each.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin visited parts of Cuddalore district to make an on-the-spot assessment of damage suffered by the district.

In a chat with reporters, he said Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts were the worst-hit.

In Thanjavur, Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj, who went around the district to make an assessment of damages, told reporters that 30,000 hectares, where the crop had been raised, were badly affected because of heavy rain.

G. Santhanam, Highways Secretary, continued his assessment of the damage in Tiruvarur district for the second day.

In Ramanathapuram, official sources say 11,770 hectares of paddy fields have been submerged or waterlogged. As per a tentative assessment, Tuticorin district has suffered damage to the extent of Rs. 254 crore. More than fifty per cent loss in crop yield was reported.

On the problem of inundation in Cuddalore, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, who was in the district for the last two days, said Cuddalore district needed a comprehensive drainage project, covering the highly flood-prone Kattumannarkoil and Kumaratchi regions.

As for addressing the drainage problem in the Cauvery delta, S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers' Welfare Association, emphasised the need for taking up modernisation of the irrigation system.

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