Chennai: With Michaung cyclone moving away to Andhra Pradesh, there was relief from rains since late Monday night leading to water receding in several places in Chennai, while the southern suburban areas still resembled little islands cut off from the main land.
The State Government put the death toll at seven and moved over 61,600 residents to relief camps. Chennai airport resumed operations on Tuesday morning but airline carriers operated less than the normal number of flights. Long distance trains and bus services were also resumed in parts and electricity supply was being restored in phases depending on the intensity of the damage to the power infrastructure.
Call for help
However, residents in most parts of Chennai struggled to get access to essentials including milk and drinking water. Calls for help and aid continued through the day with many taking to social media to amplify their plight. The Government distributed over 11 lakh food packets and over a lakh milk sachets to the affected people, Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena told journalists.
Over 3,000 workers were clearing debris and removing fallen trees and another 2,000 workers from other districts joined the mission later.
Chief Minister M K Stalin told journalists the Tamil Nadu Government is planning to seek an interim relief of ₹5,000 crore from the Centre for relief and restoration operations in Chennai and its surroundings. “We will write to the Union Government for an allocation of ₹5,000 crore. DMK MPs would raise this issue in the parliament,” he added.
Mr Stalin rejected comparison about the ground situation and Government’s response to the floods now and during the historic December 2015 floods. He argued that the quantum of rain received then was different. “Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam had received 29.4 cm and 34.5 cm within 24 hours respectively in 2015 but now Perungudi and Meenambakkam alone received 44 cm and 43 cm within 36 hours respectively,” he said. “As many as 199 persons had died during 2015. Now the toll is seven. This too was due to inevitable circumstances,” he contended and claimed while the previous historic floods was “artificial”, which was caused by delay in releasing excess water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir, the current situation was the result of a “natural” flood.
Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami, who inspected some of the affected areas in Chennai, however, charged that the Government had mishandled the situation despite claiming to have spent ₹4,000 crore on flood-related infrastructure.