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Rain pushes Coimbatore city to edge

Karthik Madhavan
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As usual it inundates subways near railway station, Avanashi Road and Kikani School

In trouble: The houses at Kalavai in Coimbatore inundated by the rain on Monday. — Photo: M. Periasamy
In trouble: The houses at Kalavai in Coimbatore inundated by the rain on Monday. — Photo: M. Periasamy

Sunday's rain was the most neutral and fair that city has had in the recent past – it left everybody affected, irrespective of the type of house and locality.

Rainwater flooded low-lying areas and also those that are not prone to flooding or water stagnation. And, as usual, it inundated the subways near Railway Station, Avanashi Road, Kaleeswara Mill and Kikani School.

It troubled elderly residents like Manora Banuchandra, who had to seek the police's assistance to help herself.

The 80-year-old resident of Nethaji Nagar, off Nanjundapuram Road, had her house under knee-deep water. Left helpless and immobile because of a hip fracture, she first rang up the Fire and Rescue Services Department and then the police to help her out. “I was desperately trying to get the help of rescue services personnel. They simply did not answer the phone, which kept ringing. Finally, I had to call up the police, who shifted my bed and me to the dining table, so that I could spend the night safe,” she told The Hindu .

She says the only help she wanted was in flushing out water and help is yet to reach her.

Sources in the Fire and Rescue Services Department say they have the facilities to rescue people marooned or caught in floods but nothing to pump out water. Regarding help not reaching on time and phone calls not being attended to, the officials said that their entire machinery was sent all over the city and there were constraints and the phone was continuously busy leaving the callers in waiting.

The downpour that began on Sunday evening lasted till late into the night. By 10 p.m., Avanashi Road, Lakshmi Mills Junction, Pappanaickenpalayam Junction, underpass of Avanashi Road and North Coimbatore flyover, Kikkani underpass, Ramanathapuram Junction, Nanjundapuram Road, Singanallur Junction were under knee deep water. Vehicles getting held up because of the rainwater were a common sight on almost all the roads.

While the water flow was half empty on Sanganur canal, roads remained under sheets of water.

Residents of Balaji Nagar, Ganga Nagar, Kurunji Nagar, Thiru Nagar, Thiru Nagar Colony, Arasu Paniyalar Colony and Chunnambu Kalavai – all coming under Wards 87 – 92 in Kuniamuthur – were in the midst of water. Water from the Chunnambu Kalavai entered their houses after the channel was breached.

Minister S.P. Velumani, Mayor S.M. Velusamy, Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy led the Corporation team in carrying out relief operations.

Sources in the Corporation said they had placed 200 sandbags to plug the breach and prevent inundation of houses.

They had also deployed 120 men, earthmovers and lorries to clean the drains and make way for the water to drain out from the area.

They had also deployed diesel motors, sullage lorries to pump out water from low-lying localities.

The Minister had directed the Corporation officials to identify the poor people in the locality to extend the benefit under the Basic Services for Urban Poor scheme to convert their thatched roof houses to concrete ones.

The sources also said that Mr. Velusamy had asked the officials to remove encroachments to prevent smooth flow of storm water.

Meanwhile, cooking gas supply in Kuniamuthur remained affected as the drain dug to divert water had disconnected the godown from the road.

An employee of Indra Bharat Gas said that lorry carrying fresh cylinders could not enter the godown premises and that they could load empty cylinders into the lorry.

It had been three days now and that the supply remained disrupted.

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