CHENNAI: Senior Ministers, Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan, Secretaries of various key departments on Friday assured that all possible steps are being taken to protect the people affected by floods. “Our priority is to rescue people, provide relief, to ensure their health. All out efforts are on to resume normalcy”, they told the media at the Secretariat.
Ministers R Viswanathan, R Vaithilingam, K Raju and S Gokula Indira, Chennai Mayor S Duraisamy, Chief Secretary and CRA, Corporation Commissioner Vikram Kapur, TANGEDCO CMD M Saikumar, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, Metrowater CMD, B Chandramohan, Transport Secretary, Prabhakar Rao, PWD Secretary N Palaniappan, Animarly Husbandry and Fisheries Secretary, S Vijayakumar and Food Secretary Shiva Das Meena gave a detailed account on the steps taken to handle the natural calamity of an unprecedented scale.
The CRA said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was constantly monitoring the situation and giving directions to officials on the measures to be taken. The toll since October 1, when the monsoon commenced, stood at 245. As many as 11,53,059 persons have been evacuated while 3,50,000 were rescued by various agencies. In all, 5,009 relief camps were functioning in flood-affected districts while 56,49,229 food packets had been distributed.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner said this year, rainfall in Chennai was historic (158 cm). Water logging had been cleared in 423 affected areas and 3,700 medical camps were organised so far. “Due to these steps, we have been able prevent outbreak of any epidemic. As and when water recedes, garbage will be removed and roads cleansed. Restoration of roads severely battered will be our top priority”, he added.
TANGEDCO CMD said power supply had been suspended in flood affected areas purely as a temporary measure to ensure safety. “We have restored power in north Chennai, certain pockets of west and south Chennai. Power in suburbs will be restored once the water recedes. Over 12,000 EB workers from Coimbatore, Vellore, Erode have been deployed in Chennai and other areas to undertake repair works,” he explained.
The Health secretary said in Chennai alone, 201 doctors from govt medical colleges had been engaged for treating the rain-affected and 23142 medical camps were organised.
“There has been lot of skin related issues so we are looking at that specifically. We are advocating double amount of chlorination in drinking water. Individual houses should clean up their sumps with bleaching powders and use it freshly. Medical oxygen supply to all hospitals including private hospitals has been streamlined. We have ensured there is no shortage”, he added.
Transport Secretary said on Friday, the State transport corporations had restored 65 per cent of bus service.
“A total of 3,000 buses from Koyambedu will go to different parts of state. All passengers stranded at the airport were transported safely to Bangalore and Arkonam INS Rajali. Our ultra deluxe Volvo buses picked up stranded passengers from Chennai airport to Bangalore airport”, he added.
Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Secretary said normally 11.50 lakh litres of milk is supplied per day in Chennai and on Friday, the department, despite difficulties caused by rain, managed to serve 8.2 lakh litres of milk.
As many as 14 insulated vehicles with 6,000 litres of milk each have supplied in many rain-affected areas on Friday.
Efforts were on to bring milk from districts which were not affected by rains to ensure 11.50 lakh litres of milk is supplied.
Food Secretary said the State government had held talks with petroleum companies to ensure normal supply of fuel.
Within a day or two, normal supply in all outlets would be ensured. Efforts are on to dewater some outlets affected by flooding.
PWD Secretary said the discharge from major reservoirs around Chennai had come down drastically on Friday. From Puzhal, the outflow had been brought down from 29,000 cusecs to 3,500 cusecs. From Poondi, it had come down from 35,000 cusecs to 12,215 cusecs.