CHENNAI: The Metro turned out to be the safest option to commute. Thousands of people made a beeline to the Alandur metro station for the second day on Thursday. The station was a sign of hope for those from the southern suburbs fleeing the city.
Balaji and his friends, employed at an IT park and staying at Velachery, never thought that the situation could get any worse. “There was water everywhere. We pumped it out and thought that was the end of it. But it kept raining, and we could not even go to office,” said the 28-year-old who had packed his rug sack to leave for his native Salem.
Though clueless about getting there, he is hopeful of finding a way somehow. “I’ll take any bus from Koyambedu out of here,” he says. “I don’t care where it takes me I’ll find another bus home. I had to leave most of my things behind and just carry essentials,” he says inching along the tired and anxious mass of people spilling onto almost 500 metres off the road beyond the station. Families, youngsters, office-goers, all kinds of crowd packed the locality through the day.
His friend Gautham who was also heading home to Salem agrees. “My parents asked me to come back home. I haven’t gone to work for days, as Shollinganallur, my workplace, is under water. OMR is just not safe for us anymore. So I’m going back home for a few days,” he says, exhaustion evident on his face.
Many of their baggage though lighter, were soggy and drenched but nothing seemed to deter the exodus from the flooded city.