No respite from inundation for residents of north Chennai

As rain flooded several roads, interior lanes, and low-lying neighbourhoods, poor storm water drain network was blamed for the waterlogging

There was no respite from waterlogging for residents of many parts of north Chennai. As rain inundated several roads, interior lanes and low-lying neighbourhoods in the northern part of the city, residents of many areas blamed the poor storm water drain network that was causing flooding.

Residents of Pulianthope and its surrounding areas were among the worst-hit as rainwater inundated many of the stretches, leaving hundreds of residents in the lurch.

Decaster Road, Stephenson Road, Pulianthope Main Road and Pattalam and K.M. Garden were heavily waterlogged. Many streets and neighbourhoods in Tiruvottiyur were flooded, while interior lanes in parts of Choolai, Jawahar Nagar, parts of Perambur and Vyasarpadi were waterlogged.

With no signs of water receding, Siraj, a resident of Decaster Road in Pulianthope, said he wanted to shift his parents out of the locality but could not move due to lack of transportation. “Waterlogging is a perennial problem here. The area is densely populated but the drain network is poor. The storm water drain that was laid only a few years ago has little or no flow. But who is going to look into our long-pending pleas? We serve only as a vote bank but our woes remain unaddressed for several years,” he said.

Subway opened

The Ganeshapuram subway at Jeeva railway station was opened for traffic after water was drained, while the Vyasarpadi subway remained partially waterlogged. Some of the arterial stretches including Dr. Ambedkar College Road in Pulianthope, Perambur High Road in Jamalia and First Main Road in Jawahar Nagar were inundated.

No help from authorities

In fact, in some of these areas, residents were left on their own with little or no help from authorities to drain water or regulate traffic. A number of residents in and around Pulianthope started to move out of their homes to their relatives’ houses in other localities.

“There is no power supply for 36 hours. Power supply was cut at 7 a.m. on Sunday and has not been restored till now. The area is surrounded with water as always,” said Veronica, a resident of Pattalam.

Sathish, a resident of Kakkan Street in Rajaji Nagar, Tiruvottiyur, said the area was completely inundated for the last two days.

“There is water for about 2.5 feet. Nearby localities such as Jothi Nagar is also inundated. We are stepping out of our homes only in case of any urgent requirement. No action has been taken till now to drain the water. Though storm water drain was constructed here, they did not complete the work of connecting the drain network. The work has been going on for the past year,” he said.

Areas in Mathur such as Kamaraj Nagar, Bhuvaneshwari Nagar and Nehruji Nagar, and Kavi Thendral Kalyanasundaram Nagar in Chinnamathur witnessed waterlogging.

An official of the north region, Greater Chennai Corporation said major waterlogging issues were from zones III (Madhavaram), IV (Tondiarpet) and V (Royapuram). “Annai Sathya Nagar was one of the areas that is facing waterlogging. We have deployed a boat to carry out relief operations,” the official said. Motors were being used in many areas to pump out the stagnant water.

He added that food was being provided for nearly 70,000 rain-affected persons in the north Chennai region alone.

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