Cyclone Vardah relief operations: Poorer parts of Chennai are neglected

Five days on from Vardah, tail-end city areas still have no power.

Chennai: Several parts of Chennai remained in the dark even on Saturday, six days after Cyclone Vardah ripped through the metropolis, drawing loud complaints from many residents accusing the government officials of being insensitive and indifferent, if not incompetent. The victims seemed particularly upset that while they continued to suffer darkness and mosquito bites, the posh areas sheltering politicians and rich entrepreneurs quickly got power restored. The tail-end areas in North Chennai and South Chennai continued to bear the brunt of the post-Vardah apathy. While the people in these two extreme areas could have their own peculiar problems, darkness at night is one common irritant nagging all.

Thousands of fishermen from villages at Pulicat are at the end of their tether without power, drinking water and untimely relief food supply. Two ministers who are allocated to Light house and Thangal Perumkulam panchayats are focusing on the former locality, said residents. “No arrangements have been made to reach drinking water to the villages of Sathankuppam, Korakuppam, Karungali, Thangal and Idayankulam. Having lost our boats and with relief material supplied delayed, we are distressed,” said Durai Mahendran of Tiruvallur fishermen society. Thangal and Idayankulam have reportedly also lost crops and sustained damage to agricultural lands as the brackish lake water flooded their farm fields.

Two ministers — Ma Foi Pandiarajan and Tourism minister Vellamandi Natarajan — are camping at the Panchayat office since morning, but despite temporary arrangements, no efforts to solve the problem have been taken, lamented the residents. “Their focus is on Light house Panchayat. They are not concerned about the people in six villages of Thangal Perumkulam panchayat,” said Mahendran, adding that over 400 boats of the fishermen here were ruined. A fisherman from Sathankuppam said, “We were supplied power at 11pm at night. The government has not said a word about compensating us for the loss of our boats.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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