As the Regional Meteorological Centre has predicted rain for the next five days, the administration is ready with all steps being in place to handle floods, Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar told reporters here on Thursday. Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea, the minister added.
In October, only five districts – Theni, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram –recorded excess rainfall, whereas the entire State received a deficit rainfall of 13 per cent, said the Minister, adding that more than 15 districts, including Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, were among those recording deficit rainfall.
In Chennai, the Corporation has constructed 424 km of new stormwater drains and a dedicated TNSmart app is now available for the government officials to speed up coordination during floods, the Minister said.
During the review meeting earlier in the day, Udhayakumar instructed the Revenue department and the State Disaster Management Authority to ensure that there were no encroachments along the waterways. Public Works department was also instructed to keep an eye on the inflow of stormwater into all major and minor dams in western Tamil Nadu. He also instructed the officials to ensure that the flood mitigation measures were executed as per plans, including the deployment of inter-departmental zonal teams round-the-clock.
Heavy rain disrupts life in Erode; 200 houses marooned
With the monsoon finally setting it, heavy overnight rains hit Erode district, disrupting normal life and inundating hundreds of houses. The rains were incessant on Wednesday night which resulted in waterlogging in Keeripallam Odai.
Gobi bus stand, Pariyur, Nanjegoundanpalayam and Pathi localities were flooded while around 200 houses in Mettuvalavu, Perumalsamy Nagar and several other residential areas were inundated. The disaster management staff rescued around 50 persons from flooded houses, shifting them to a shelter at a government school.
School Education minister KA Sengottaiyan visited the flood-affected areas in the district, his hometown, and directed officials to take measures to flush out the water using pumps so that the displaced families could return home soon. He also visited the school where the families have been sheltered and distributed food.
Crops like plantain and sugarcane that were raised in hundreds of acres in Gobichettipalayam and surrounding areas now stand submerged, said farmers. They are worried about impending loss if the floodwater does not drain away in a day. Meanwhile, heavy rains lashed The Nilgiris district and Valparai hills in Coimbatore district. Water level in Sholayar dam in Valparai has risen to 152.41 feet as against its full reservoir capacity of 160 feet as on Thursday.