CHENNAI: Had it not been for Chennai Metro Tunnels, the devastation due to the calamitous floods, coupled with heavy downpour, in the city could have been more.
A Chennai Metro Rail official said that as heavy rains lashed the city, Chennai Metro took a decision to open the blocks and let the rain water inside the underground stretch between Anna Flyover and Saidapet. This had brought some relief to the city.
Intensity of the rain was such that the 4 km stretch from Anna Flyover to Saidapet was water logged. “Imagine if the water in the 4 km stretch with two tunnels, which are 6 metre wide, is let out in the city,” he said. It was a wise decision which saved the city from intense flooding, said the official.
But this might not happen during the next monsoon as a protective wall would be built to make it water-proof, he said while pointing out the reliability of Metro Rail service during the rains.
The biggest challenge before Chennai Metro is how to pump out the water. “This could take more than 10 to 15 days. We are using pumps to flush it out as water in Adyar River has receded,” he said. From December 1 to 5, an average of 60,000 people took the service, he said. Metro Rail is planning to start operations quite early in anticipation of the return of people who had fled the city fearing more rains.
The revenue earned during the five days could be more than `1 crore but officials are happy that Chennai Metro had mitigated the sufferings of the people who could not access any other mode of transport to reach Koyambedu bus station.