Flooded inner streets leave residents of central areas in the lurch

Ezhilan Naganathan, Thousand Lights MLA, attributes the delay in draining the streets to the high quantum of rainfall in 24 hours, leading to overflowing of stormwater drains and canals

December 05, 2023 10:03 pm | Updated December 06, 2023 01:41 pm IST - CHENNAI

People queuing up to buy milk in the city on Tuesday.

People queuing up to buy milk in the city on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: M. KARUNAKARAN

A day after the city witnessed historic rainfall due to Cyclone Michaung, parts of it are reeling under its after effects as some roads are severely waterlogged.

While arterial roads were relatively free of inundation, waterlogged interior streets in central Chennai areas, including Teynampet, Kodambakkam, West Mambalam, and Arumbakkam, posed challenges to residents in accessing essentials such as milk and drinking water.

Near the Old Tower Block in Nandanam, roads were inundated as of Tuesday evening. J. Hari, a resident, said the water rose above the knees (at least 3 feet). By evening, the rainwater started to recede, albeit gradually. “There has been no power since 3 a.m. on Monday. We tried calling 1913 but did not go through. None of the helpline numbers are reachable,” he said.

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Heavy waterlogging and no electricity left residents of MMDA Colony in Arumbakkam in the lurch without access to essentials, such as drinking water. C.R. Sekar said the area was flooded due to the rain, and subsequently due to the possible opening of Virugambakkam canal. Senior citizens were particularly suffering, he said. 

In West Mambalam, streets lying between Arya Gowda Road and Lake View Road were waterlogged. According to residents in Brindavan Street Extension and Patel street, electricity was not restored till Tuesday evening.

With milk supply affected in many places for more than a day, people queued up at the Aavin outlet at Raja Annamalai Puram. This was the case in several other areas of the city. While Seethammal Colony and K.B. Dasan Road in Teynampet were badly affected during the heavy rain of 2021, parts of these localities were largely clear on Tuesday.

Interior streets of Anna Nagar were still inundated on Tuesday evening. Bhuvaneswari, a resident of East Main Road, said: “Water is running out, and without electricity, we cannot switch on the pump. My son is a doctor and he has to go to work. But there is no water to shower,” she said.

Sixth Avenue and 5th Street of Anna Nagar West were also flooded. In the latter, boats were deployed to take residents to safety. Many in Anna Nagar complained that the electricity was cut off for two days making life difficult.

Ezhilan Naganathan, Thousand Lights MLA, told The Hindu that over 500 families had been shifted to shelters from Corporation Colony and Tamil Nadu Urban Habit Board settlements. Electricity was being restored in phases, first along the main roads where water had already drained and subsequently in the interior roads and individual apartments, he said.

Mr. Naganathan attributed the delay in draining the streets to the high quantum of rainfall in 24 hours, leading to overflowing of stormwater drains and canals.

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