In Tambaram, Lakshmi Nagar, Varadarajapuram, PTC Quarters, TTK Nagar are already flooded. With the water level rising, district administration moved the people to the camps arranged in churches and schools. However, most residents are not willing to leave their homes. In 2015, many recalled, they locked their homes while staying in camps. When they returned, the houses were broken into and valuables looted.
“The government has arranged camps but how can we stay peacefully without safeguarding the electronics and other gadgets in our house,” asked R Ramesh from Varadarajapuram. Instead of shifting them during rains every year, the government should construct proper storm water drains to prevent flooding, said the residents.
In Chitlapakkam, for instance, the then Collector had directed officials in 2018 to construct drainage to prevent flooding. Works had commenced soon afterwards, but is yet to be completed. Residents rued that the work was irregular right from the beginning, before coming to a complete halt in March due to the lockdown. Mudichur and Varadarajapuram are also flooded, but the situation is not as bad as it was in 2015. But residents fear that it could worsen if the discharge from Chembarambakkam lake is stepped up.
On Wednesday morning, Kancheepuram Collector Mageswari Ravikumar visited the flooded areas and asked officials to make all arrangements for the people. She also requested those living in low areas to move to safer places.
Meanwhile, citing the safety of the public who could be at risk due to falling electric poles and hoardings, the Chengalpattu police closed GST Road, OMR and ECR till the cyclone crosses the coast. Many localities in Valasaravakkam zone, including Vadapalani, Arumbakkam and MMDA Colony, are inundated, with several incidents fallen trees, broken cables and road blocks being reported. Residents are apprehensive about the twin threat of the approaching cyclone and the release of water from Chembarambakkam lake.
“Most of the streets off Jawaharlal Nehru Road in Vadapalani get waterlogged even after mild showers. The cables are lying open on the roads and the situation can be more dangerous after the cyclone,” said Deepika K, a resident of Meigai Vinayagar Koil Street in Vadapalani.
Though spared from the fury of the rains, parts of Virugambakkam had to deal with power cut after supply was severed from Wednesday afternoon. Mariamma George (81) of Rathna Nagar Main Road, who lives alone, said the supply was cut despite roads not being inundated. “Even my domestic help will not turn up till the situation normalises. I have been using only one light at any given time so as to conserve inverter battery. If the power cut continues for another 24 hours or more, like in the case in 2015, I don’t know how I will manage,” she said.
Interior streets in Boat Club, CIT Colony, and the areas surrounding Mylapore tank were flooded. In residential areas, several trees fell, including a few on TTK Road and near Billroth Hospital.
Intermittent rain since Tuesday inundated several parts of Kolathur, too, particularly interior roads. Residents of Lakshmipuram at Kolathur complained that the entire road was under water even though the Corporation had constructed a stormwater drain and increased the height of the Vivekananda Nagar Main Road.
“All the streets between the Teacher’s Colony and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai remain flooded. Despite numerous complaints to Corporation officials, no action has been taken to find a permanent solution,” a resident noted. Irked over the Corporation’s failure to clear the waterlogging, a section of residents blocked traffic on the Jawaharlal Nehru Salai near Senthil Nagar signal for half an hour on Wednesday afternoon causing traffic snarl. Police officials pacified the residents.