It was a near repeat of last year’s monsoon in Chennai

City Bureau

CHENNAI: As residents of the city reeled under heavy downpour, resulting in slow moving traffic, battered roads and unannounced power cuts on Saturday, the Chennai Corporation’s version that it had desilted 90 per cent of the stormwater drains were laid bare. It was a near repeat of last year’s monsoon in many localities and the roads went under several feet of water.

In many parts of the city, people waded through knee-deep or waist-high water. Many of them fell into potholes and sustained injuries. Power supply was suspended in slum areas in north and south Chennai which were inundated, a Tamil Nadu Electricity Board source said.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Mayor M. Subramanian visited G.N. Chetty Road in T. Nagar, Ayodhya Nagar off Kamarajar Salai, and some parts of Choolai. By evening, Corporation officials said 60,000 food packets were distributed to people living in flooded areas in Tondiarpet, Pulianthope and Nungambakkam zones. The civic body also conducted health camps in all 10 zones and would be distributing chlorine tablets.

The four reservoirs supplying water to the city have been receiving good inflow over the past few days. Chembarambakkam received the highest inflow with 2,153 cubic feet per second till 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Officials of the Chennai Metrowater said the reservoirs received an additional storage of about 270 million cubic feet from rainfall alone. This is equivalent to nine days’ supply to the city. The possibility of inundation in areas surrounding the Porur Lake is slim since water from Chembarambakkam would be released only if there is surplus in the reservoir, officials said.

But, the monsoon was a nightmare for many residents as stagnant water threw life out of gear. Roadside mechanics were seen busy repairing two-wheelers that got stuck. At the Tirumangalam Police Station, the personnel worked in knee-deep water as the station was flooded.

About 3,000 residents of Gnanamurthy Nagar in Ambattur Municipal limits watched helplessly as water entered their homes on Friday afternoon. The residents’ welfare association secretary, M.R. Chockalingam, said, “Last year we had a similar problem and the Chief Secretary visited the area then. The problem is because 200 Feet Road is being laid from Maduravoyal to Madhavaram. There is no proper provision to drain water into the Korattur Lake.”

The story was the same for residents of several localities in west Velachery such as AGS Staff Colony, where the roads went under sheets of water.

As water entered many houses, residents planned to move away to safer locations, officials of the civic body listed the proposed measures to avoid such situation, something that they had said last monsoon too.

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