Meticulous planning by officials ensures zero fatality in flood-hit Tirunelveli

Public wait to get drinking water from a tanker in Tirunelveli town on Friday.   | Photo Credit: A. Shaikmohideen

With meticulous plans and preparations and diligent execution of those plans by the district administration under hostile conditions has ensured ‘zero casualty’ though the district faced widespread downpour and heavy flood in the Tamirabharani with the floodgates of major reservoirs of the district opened.

The officials, led by District Collector V. Vishnu and the Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan, moved their operations to top gear on getting downpour predictions. This week, which could have otherwise been a long weekend for officials due to ‘Pongal’, became one of the most testing periods for them as they were literally on the streets round-the-clock for three days since Tuesday.

Forgoing sleep, Mr. Vishnu and Mr. Manivannan were seen movingbetween Tirunelveli and Papanasam, the most vulnerable area. From Tuesday, they visited all affected area so as to expedite the relief operations.

Even though two NDRF teams had arrived to bolster the relief and rescue operations, Mr. Vishnu persuaded Indian Navy’s INS Kattabomman to deploy its well-trained team with hi-tech gadgets at Papanasam, Vickramasingapuram and Ambasamudram, all close to Papansam dam, to launch rescue operations instantly to avert any casualty due to flood.

When places above the overflowing Manimuthar Dam, which was receiving over 15,000 cusecs of water, experienced landslips at several places including Maanjolai, the NDRF persons were rushed to the spot to clear the rocks fallen on the ghat roads at several places.

The Collector’s announcements on social media about the quantum of water released from the Papanasam, Manimuthar, Gadana and Ramanadhi Dams for every two hours effectively scotched rumours spread by miscreants to trigger panic among the public.

“When Tamirabharani carried over 2 lakh cusecs of water following a cyclone-triggered downpour on November 14, 1992, the flood claimed 17 lives in Thiruvalluvar Nagar near Vickramasingapuram. With this incident reverberating in my mind, we were working with the objective of saving everyone from flood. The team effort has paid desirable results,” Mr. Vishnu said.

After chairing a meeting at the Collectorate on Thursday evening to review the flood situation, Minister for Revenue R. B. Udhayakumar and Minister for Information Kadambur C. Raju personally commended Mr. Vishnu and Mr. Manivanann for the efforts taken to avert fatalities in the district.

According to Mr. Vishnu, ensuring distribution of drinking water to the residents would be the immediate challenge as all infiltration wells in Tamirabharani that supply drinking water were now submerged. “The water available is being distributed to residents in lorries and mini tankers until the situation improves,” Mr. Vishnu said.

When the Collector and the SP simultaneously received information about five members of a family from Pottal Colony near Ariyanayagipuram close to Mukkoodal, who were stranded in the flood on Wednesday night, they rushed to the spot with a fire and rescue services personnel to rescue them, which included a 60-year-old lady, in an inflated boat after an hour-long struggle.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 9:35:10 AM |

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