Chennai limps back to normalcy, UPI and mobile services partially restored 

Several petrol pumps, restaurants and grocery shops have started accepting UPI payments as network and power have been partially restored in the city after a complete shut down for the past two days.
P Prakash, a fruit seller in Nolambur says he has not faced any disruptions in the UPI payments since Tuesday.  (Photo| Sunish P Surendran, EPS)
P Prakash, a fruit seller in Nolambur says he has not faced any disruptions in the UPI payments since Tuesday. (Photo| Sunish P Surendran, EPS)

Chennai is limping back to normalcy after cyclone Michaung rained havoc on the city on Monday. 

In a major respite for Chennaites, UPI payments which were completely disrupted on Monday and Tuesday have been partially restored. 

Several petrol pumps, restaurants and shops have started taking UPI and debit card payments. 

“Network issues are still there, which is why UPI payments are hard. But we are taking it if it works on the first try,” said the manager of Bharat Gas, Ambattur Estate.

Tuesday saw a huge demand for fuel as people rushed to fill their tanks amid the flooding. As a result, several petrol pumps closed down.

“We are running out of both petrol and diesel which is why we have limited our supply to 10-20 litres,” the manager added. 

Supermarkets, restaurants and even push cart fruit sellers are letting out a sigh of relief as online payments began working. 

“It is a relief that UPI has started working. Yesterday there was a complete shutdown of all online payments including card payments. It has been working well since morning,” said an accountant from Tender Cuts in Nolambur. 

The situation was exacerbated by ATM counters running out of cash as people were stuck with no options to even buy essentials. 

Several ATM counters including Indian Overseas Bank in Nolambur, INSC in Mogappair West and IDFC in Nolambur remain closed after witnessing huge cash withdrawals yesterday. 

ATM of Indian Overseas Bank in Nolambur, Chennai. (Photo| Sunish P Surendran, EPS)
ATM of Indian Overseas Bank in Nolambur, Chennai. (Photo| Sunish P Surendran, EPS)

Chennaites were also grappling with a prolonged power disruption and a halt in telecom services amid the crisis. Some telecom services have still not been restored. 

“I have been struggling to buy essentials. My mobile network has been down for two days now. I have run out of cash and most ATMs are out of order. I have been using my credit card wherever possible,” says Pichumani, who uses a Vi connection. 

“I went to the Anna Nagar showroom of Vi to complain. The telecom company has informed me that the connection will be fully restored only by Thursday,” he added. 

At the same time, some telecom services like Jio and Airtel were almost unaffected by the crisis. 

“For me, UPI has been working since yesterday itself. It has been helpful for my business,” said K Prakash, a fruit seller in Nolambur. 

Prakash claims that he did not face any network issues. He uses an Airtel connection. 

Meanwhile, some areas of the city are still in the dark. Power has not been restored in areas such as Kilpauk and Kattupakkam where people have been facing several issues including insufficient food supply and water. 

Two days after incessant rains and high winds brought severe destruction upon Chennai, including the deaths of at least 17 people, more than 19,000 people have been moved to relief camps. 

The Chennai airport had to suspend operations, affecting nearly 300 flights and leaving over 1,500 passengers stranded. 

Southern Railway also canceled several long-haul trains, with others terminating at Chengalpattu. 

Many areas, particularly low-lying ones like Medavakkam, Keelkattalai and Mudichur, remained submerged under 3-4 feet of water.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday has sought a relief fund of Rs 5000 crores from the Union government citing the destruction caused by the cyclone. 

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com