A rain holiday has been declared for schools in eight districts of Tamil Nadu including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur districts amid continuing heavy rain since last night. Colleges have also been shut in the delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.The north east monsoon had set in a few days ago. The MET has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in sixteen districts over the next four days.
‘Chennai’s Nungambakkam received 80.4 MM, the third highest rain received on the 1st of November in 72 years,’ said Mr. Balachandran, Deputy Director, MET centre in Chennai. Nagapattinam district received up to 4.5 CM till 5:30 am this morning.Underscoring MET department’s forecast of 35 to 75 percent more rains this season, Chief Minister M K Stalin who reviewed the monsoon preparedness across the state today urged district administrations to be prepared with relief and emergency operation plans including ‘keeping ready hospitals, schools, mobile phone services and relief centres’.
So far there have been no major reports of inundation in Chennai, During the last north east monsoon Chennai had witnessed severe inundation and water logging. Just a few months into their taking over, the ruling DMK had then blamed the earlier AIADMK government for the mess and drew up a 964 crore major plan to build storm water drains to address the crisis. This monsoon season would be seen as an acid test for efficiency of the civic body’s work.
Vijay Venkatesh, a resident of Seethammal Colony, an inundation hotspot said ‘There’s a marked improvement in the colony. There’s not much of water logging anymore due to the good work done by the corporation over the last several months. We hope they’d be able to sustain this’. The Chennai corporation recently shared that the 964 KM long storm water drains network is either over and almost over except the long term projects which have been suspended amid the monsoon. Recently the Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation Mr Gagandeep Singh Bedi had said ‘We have taken up lots of steps to reduce inundation, We had many pain points last year. This time water should not stagnate there. There could be water logging if there is heavy rain, but still water would drain soon’.
In areas where the construction works isn’t completed yet authorities say they’d deploy pumps to flush out waters in the event of very heavy rains.There is also worry about stretches of incomplete dug up areas. Recently, a young journalist S Muthukrishnan who fell into one such incomplete storm water drain died. Talking about the electricity department’s preparedness, Electricity Minister Mr Senthil Balaji said ‘A lakh and a half electric posts are ready. We are prepared to face the north east monsoon’.