Chennai: The flood-ravaged city was on Saturday struggling to return to normalcy with partial restoration of tele-communication and train services, besides many roads also becoming fairly motorable even as waterlogging woes continued in several areas. Waterlogging continued in many parts such as Kotturpuram, suburban Mudichur and Pallikk-aranai even as hapless residents who had taken refuge on higher floors of buildings were seen pleading for essentials like milk and water which remain in short supply.
There were serpentine queues outside the few ATMs and petrol stations that were operating. Tamil Nadu government has said that the fuel situation will ease in the next couple of days. Banks in the state will remain open tomorrow, though it is a Sunday. In its bid to link the southern parts of Chennai with the main city, Southern Railway announced operating services on the busy Egmore-Tamabaram stretch bringing much needed relief to the residents. In many areas, including Tamabaram, telephone landline services were being restored even as mobile services also picked up pace.
Rains lashed a few parts of the city overnight but let up in the morning though the sky remained overcast. Supply of milk continued to remain erratic although state-run Aavin had taken steps to ensure adequate supply of the essential commodity. Vegetables continued to remain costly. Meanwhile, technical flights have started from Chennai airport where operations were suspended on Wednesday following flooding. Domestic passenger flight operations from will resume from Sunday morning.
NDRF said it has launched its “most massive” deployment so far as it pressed into service 50 rescue and relief teams with over 200 boats, rescuing over 16,000 people marooned by the unprecedented rains in the southern metropolis and adjoining areas. NDRF Director General O.P. Singh, who is camping here since Friday, said with the induction of 20 fresh combat teams, close to 1,600 personnel in fifty teams are now undertaking the operations in various parts of the state capital here and nearby places.
Floods, an eye-opener for planners: experts
The severe flooding in Chennai caused by torrential rains is a result of climate change and should be an eye opener for city planners, experts here have warned. Some experts have opined that Chennai being one of the outsourcing hub of India and a major destination of foreign investment, the current disastrous situation could also affect the national economy.
“Chennai has seen 17 days straight of rain, precisely the kind of extreme weather event that experts say will only become more common in a warming world,” said Nambi Appardurai, India’s adaptation strategy head for World Resources Institute. “Having been in the adaptation business for about 10 years now, I find these events reinforce the challenges we face in adapting to a changing climate. No doubt about it, there’s so much to learn from this experience.
The experts have, however, also highlighted the positive use of social media. Aswin Punath-ambekar, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, said with over half a million tweets in less than two days, citizens in Chennai and across the country mobilised to produce an infrastructure of care.
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