Residents of south Chennai struggle without power and essentials amid heavy waterlogging

Drinking water and power are the urgent needs, say residents in areas along Old Mahabalipuram Road

December 05, 2023 09:14 pm | Updated 09:15 pm IST - CHENNAI

A scene at one of the inundated parts of Velachery on Tuesday.

A scene at one of the inundated parts of Velachery on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

Thousands of people residing in South Chennai, especially those along Old Mahabalipuram Road, were stranded due to inundation and were struggling to find essential commodities for the last two days.

Residents in several areas, such as Velachery, Taramani, Madipakkam, Thiruvanmiyur, Ram Nagar, Karapakkam, Sholinganallur, Pallikaranai, and Perumbakkam, have been put to hardship due to heavy waterlogging and network and power outage.

S. Purushothaman, a resident of Ram Nagar in Madipakkam, said that after two days, he had to step out of his residence under hip-deep water to buy vegetables and groceries. “None of the authorities or people in power have come to see our condition yet. We need some kind of an assistance from the government,” he added.

While Sivasundar Avenue in Kalakshetra Road was flooded, Velachery-Taramani Road saw people wading through water and vehicles battling to cross that stretch. Gomathi Chandrababu, a resident of Velachery, says, she has been worried how to send essential supplies, such as medicines and milk, to her parents and children who live in Tansi Nagar, which has at least 3 feet of stagnating water. “After 2015, once again, we face the same issues. Investing so much money is a pointless exercise if we don’t even have good drain system that prevents such intense flooding,” she adds.

Drinking water and power are the urgent needs, say residents in areas along OMR. Nagarajan P.S., a resident of Purva Windermere at Pallikaranai, said one of the videos of cars being washed away in floods was from his apartment. “It was horrifying. I understand that the water breached the compound wall. There are so many senior citizens living in this apartment, and they need water and electricity restored at the earliest. ”

Manoj K., resident of Perumbakkam, says infrastructure, such as roads and drain systems, had to be designed keeping in mind the future of the people living here. Harsha Koda, co-founder of the Federation of OMR Residents’ Associations, said: “In the last eight years, there could have been a lot of development but barely anything has changed. We decided to help ourselves as much as we can. From trying to mobilise pumps to getting diesel, we have been taking efforts to come to the rescue of each other because we don’t get much help from the authorities.”

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