Parts of West Mambalam, which is a thickly populated twin of T. Nagar - the central shopping hub of Chennai - along with parts of Kodambakkam, have been inundated in knee-high waters for the fifth day leaving most residents trapped in their homes without food, water and essential supplies. Though water is receding and the lifeline of the neighbourhood, Doraisamy subway is open, residents say that the area is facing severe shortage of drinking water.
Sudarshan D., a resident of Thambiah road, said that there were no official in sight over the last four days. “The entire area was left in a lurch. Except for volunteers, there was no government official giving us essential things,” he said.
West Mambalam was severely affected after water from Chembarambakkam reservoir was released, resulting in water level raising as high as 6 feet. While the State administration focussed its effort on further end of South Chennai, the residents of West Mambalam and adjoining areas – West Saidapet, Kodambakkam etc – alleged that they were completely ignored.
The two hospitals in the area – the Public Health Centre and SRM Hospital in Thambiah road, remained shut. Prasanna Ramagopal, who lives in the area, has been scouring the area for the last couple of days. On December 5, he had taken up this issue with the police officials of R-6 Ashok Nagar police station.
With the help of a television crew, Prasanna had sought answers from Health Secretary Dr. J. Radhakrishnan and V.P. Kalairajan, an AIADMK member and member of legislative assembly from T.Nagar.
Prasanna says that the health secretary was receptive to the issues faced in West Mambalam: severe water logging and garbage, no access to medicines and shortage of food and drinking water.
For the last four days, the entire area between Public Health Centre at the very end of Lakeview road and Doraisamy subway (including Arya Gowder road, Thambiah Reddy road and Brindavan street) were flooded despite the rains relenting.