CHENNAI: Anticipating floods following heavy rains, the Greater Chennai Corporation has stationed 22 rescue boats as a precautionary measure at various parts of the city one Wednesday. But, instead of reassuring the residents, it had created panic especially in areas which faced the worst of the December last deluge.
“When we saw two boats early in the morning we panicked. If the weather is going to improve, why bring the boats?” asked Rajesh, an automobile mechanic in Jaffarkhanpet who still bears the trauma of the foods. Not willing to take any chance, he and his family are prepared to leave for their native village. “People are scarred,” he admits, adding, “Last time we moved to the school which too was inundated. This time we won’t take any chances.”
Others like Sumathi, who recall nightmarish days of starvation, have their belongings packed. “Last time, we were on the road and even the roads got washed off... We starved for two days,” recollects a shaking Sumathi, whose family of five along with her neighbours, were preparing to leave Pallam, Saradi Nagar.
What they most fear is that there won’t be any help. “See this wall,” Saravanan, a 19-year-old college student points to the recently repaired structure and says, “The river is just beyond that wall. Last time, the wall cracked and water gushed in.”
With rumours of a second flood fast spreading and frequent power outages cutting off communication and news alerts, apprehensive families are prepared to flee than to wait.
When we saw two boats early in the morning, we panicked. If the weather is going to improve, why bring the boats here now? People are already scarred... Last time, we moved to the school, which also was inundated. This time, we are simply not ready to any chances
Rajesh, an automobile mechanic in Jaffarkhanpet