As Water Recedes, Chennai Braces to Check Outbreak of Diseases

Truck loads of garbage was removed and conservancy staff was seen clearing the pavements as bleaching powder was liberally sprinkled.

Published: 07th December 2015 10:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2015 12:42 AM   |  A+A-


Indian people sort through their possessions at destroyed houses as floodwaters recede in Chennai. |AFP


CHENNAI: Flood-ravaged Chennai and its suburbs braced to meet the mounting challenge of preventing outbreak of diseases as the deluge left heaps of garbage and muck on the streets, while the sun shone bright and normal train and air services resumed today.

Though flood water has receded from arterial roads, most f the low-lying areas continue to be flooded with sewage as drains were chocked with plastic, mattresses and sundry material.

Authorities have scrambled nearly 25,000 sanitary workers to clear the stinking garbage accumulated over the past several days to prevent outbreak of diseases.

Truck loads of garbage was removed and conservancy staff was seen clearing the pavements as bleaching powder was liberally sprinkled.

The general apprehension of the flood victims is that the continuing slush and muck around their houses and contaminated water supply could lead to an outbreak of epidemic.

With respite from downpour and bright sunshine today, the city appeared on course to normalcy.

Chennai Airport Director Deepak Shastri said the facility became fully functional this morning.

"Airport is functioning one hundred per cent. In fact, I am waiting for the schedule from private airlines," he said.

A Southern Railway spokesperson told PTI that all trains, particularly to Chennai and its surrounding areas, began operating in full swing from today.

However, educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallore remained closed following weatherman's forecast yesterday of more rain.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said power supply has been restored in 95 per cent of the areas in Chennai barring those that are still submerged.

"Power supply will be restored in such areas after the water recedes," she said.

Private sector offices, including those of the IT giants, either were partially closed or their employees asked to work from home.

Milk supply was being restored, while Mobile and landline services continued to face glitches with call drops and poor signals.

Jayalalithaa said the situation was fast improving that life will become fully normal in a few days.

"As of now, the situation due to the impact of floods is improving, and the situation will be fully normal in a few days," she said as water receded from most parts of the city and its suburbs.

Mattresses, blankets, sanitary napkins for women and diapers for children were among the relief material being provided to inmates of camps for the flood-hit, she said, adding so far 453 tonnes of milk powder has been distributed.

"85 per cent of fuel pumps are functioning with adequate stock and hassle free supply of fuel for the general public has been facilitated," she said.

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