T.N. Chief Secretary says relief work going on in full swing in Thoothukudi

T.N. Chief Secretary visited Thoothukudi to take stock of the extent of damages caused due to the floods and went around pockets which were worst hit during the continuous rainfall on December 17 and 18.

Updated - December 23, 2023 09:12 pm IST

Published - December 23, 2023 08:02 pm IST - THOOTHUKUDI

Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena inspecting an affected area in Thoothukudi on Saturday.

Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena inspecting an affected area in Thoothukudi on Saturday. | Photo Credit: RAJESH N

Multiple department officials and field staff were engaged in relief works in the flood hit Thoothukudi district and soon the relief money announced by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin would be distributed to the ration card holders, said State Chief Secretary Shivdas Meena here on Saturday.

The top bureaucrat from the TN government visited the city to take stock of the extent of damages caused due to the floods and went around pockets which were worst hit during the continuous rainfall on December 17 and 18.

Speaking to media persons, Mr. Shivdas Meena said that the very heavy rainfall had caused damages extensively. During the 40 hour downpour, the two districts - Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli had together received around 50 cm of rain. The tanks had filled up. Dams were over flowing. The rainfall recorded here was almost 50 % more than the Mettur dam’s storage capacity or 10 times more than the capacity of Papanasam dam or Manimuthar dam. This was a very heavy rainfall.

Presently, storm water drainage construction works were underway at a cost of around Rs 200 crore in Thoothukudi city which can take up to 10 cms of rain through the facility. With the present downpour being witnessed, other modalities were being explored so that the administration can be prepared in future to face such challenges that arose due to the natural calamity.

He said that water inundation in the city and peripheries was likely to get drained in a couple of days. The issue was that the flooding was so heavy and excessive that the water could not get out through the Puckle Channel alone for different reasons. Certain pockets including residential colonies were low lying and there were difficulties in pumping out the water into the Puckle Channel, through which the water is let out in the sea.

Appreciating the work done by the officers and ground staff from multiple departments, Mr Shivdas Meena said that because of the untiring work, the people were able to get back power and other essential items in a majority of the areas despite such a devastation. “Of course, 100 % normalcy is going to take some more time,” he said.

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The enumeration work for giving financial relief to the public has commenced and as instructed by the Chief Minister, the exercise would begin shortly.

On the water logging, he said that permanent solution to certain issues in this regard were being examined and the experts were working on those areas. For instance, the idea of installing heavy duty motors permanently in key locations may help in pumping out the water in the Puckle Channel and thus cutting the roads can be avoided, he added.

The Chief Secretary visited the Thoothukudi-Tirunelveli national highway, the badly-damaged Anthoniarpuram bridge, bypass stretch, Sengulam to Uppatru Channel, Thoothukudi-Palayamkottai Road, Ettayapuram Road, Puckle Channel and Kurinji Nagar. He was accompanied by Principal Secretary (Municipal Administration & Water Supply) D Karthikeyan, Thoothukudi District Collector G Lakshmipathi, Corporation Commissioner C Dinesh Kumar and others.

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