CHENNAI: People living in inundated areas for more than a week after the heavy downpour on December 1, have something to cheer about as work is underway to clear the stagnant water in and around their houses. While residents of Valasaravakkam and Alwarthirunagar staged a dharna near Megamart, officials from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are working with state government to clear the inundation in the residential area.
Shri Bhagwan, a NDRF sub-inspector deputed from Guwahati, said their task is cut out. “We have to clear the inundation in Nerkundram,” he said, adding that a team is already at Valasaravakkam to clear the stagnant water.
The teams first identify the low-lying areas where water has accumulated. They then break the walls and pump out the water using sophisticated pumps from private agencies. An official from Ramco Cement told City Express that they have leased out two pumps to clear the inundation in the area. “These were specially flown-in from Vijayawada,” he said.
The rescue operations have ended and the state government is now focussing on providing relief to the flood-hit areas. Agencies from the Centre are also involved in the relief work. “We have 26 people on this team, focussing on Nerkundram. Another team is working on Valasaravakam,” said Bhagwan. This comes after the NDRF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) S S Guleria held a meeting with State agencies last week.
So far, the NDRF has rescued 17,000 people and fished out eight bodies. The NDRF has deployed 25 teams (100 personnel) in Chennai, 10 in Kanchee-puram, 12 in Thiruvallur, one in Cuddalore, and two in Pondicherry.
Meanwhile, residents of Valsaravakkam and the adjoining areas had to manage without power for the eighth consecutive day. Some residents staged a dharna to highlight their plight.
Veena Ramakrishnan of Veerappan Nagar said the dharna was attended by around 40 people. She also welcomed the move by State Government to deploy the NDRF to clear the inundation. “It is a welcome move. We hope this will end our plight. But it should be done fast,” she added.