Cyclone Michaung | Chennai Corporation cites staff crunch as reason for delayed removal of trees, garbage

Many of the Corporation’s workers are stranded in flooded areas, impeding clean-up and relief work

Updated - December 06, 2023 04:27 pm IST

Published - December 06, 2023 03:50 pm IST - Chennai

A fallen tree in Teynampet in Chennai on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Trees have fallen across various locations in the city after Cyclone Michaung

A fallen tree in Teynampet in Chennai on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Trees have fallen across various locations in the city after Cyclone Michaung | Photo Credit: Srinath M

In the wake of incessant rains caused by Cyclone Michaung, the flooding in various city areas is like an albatross around the neck of the Greater Chennai Corporation, causing a staff shortage as many personnel are stranded in inundated areas. This has impeded relief work.

About 80 daily-waste collection vehicles parked in Mylapore on December 4, 2023, are reported to have suffered damage due to water, according to Corporation workers. As a result, many fallen trees and garbage in bins has remained unattended.

Residents in Arumbakkam and Valasaravakkam staged a protest earlt on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 demanding that the Corporation drain the stagnant water, clear the garbage and restore the electricity in these locations. Residents of of Nungambakkam and Nandanam also complained of fallen tree branches on roads that have been left unattended for two days.

Ward 113 Councillor Prema Suresh said branches from 15 locations in the Nungambakkam area under her limits were removed over the past two days. Despite a staff shortage, the Corporation is making efforts to facilitate vehicular movement.

Workers of Urbaser Sumeet, the private agency to which waste management has been outsourced by GCC, attribute the staff shortage to personnel being stuck in flooded areas. Many workers are reportedly stranded in areas like Vyasarpadi, Perambur, and Madhavaram, hindering waste-clearing operations.

The worker highlighted challenges in cleaning leaf waste and fallen tree branches, particularly after the storm, citing difficulties caused by inundation and vehicle damage. Repair work on nearly 80 household waste collection vehicles, submerged near Chennai Citi Centre shopping mall in Mylapore, was completed by the morning after the rainfall, the worker said.

Greater Chennai Corporation Joint Commissioner (Works) G.S Sameeran said 2,439 conservancy workers arrived from other districts and wherever there is a necessity, they can be deployed.

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