The residents of Mudichur say that water levels are still high despite the rains having stopped in Chennai.

Mudichur inundated after heavy rains lash Chennai on November 11KS Raja
news Chennai rains Friday, November 12, 2021 - 18:11

The sun may be out in Chennai, but several areas continue to remain flooded. Residents in Mudichur, which comes under the Tambaram Municipal Corporation, are marooned with water levels at 6 feet in some places. Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services deployed boats on Friday, November 12, to evacuate those stranded, but there are several who still remain trapped.

KS Raja, a resident of Navodaya street in Mudichur, tells TNM that on the morning of November 11 they woke up to severe waterlogging, following the heavy rains. Tambaram had recorded 23 cm of rainfall between November 10 and November 11 – the highest in the state during the 24 hour period. But he says the situation turned grim only on November 11 evening – after the rains had stopped. “The water levels had come up to 6 feet. Even today, there is so much water, and it still hasn’t drained despite the rains having stopped,” says Raja, who is a software professional, and lives on the third floor of a building. He blames the release of water from the Chembarambakkam lake, which in turn has led to the Adyar River that snakes through this southern suburb to overflow. Officials have been releasing over 2,000 cusecs of water since November 7.

Not far from where Raja lives, Venkatesan A, who works at a private company, however, says that it’s not just water released from Chembarambakkam that caused the flooding. “There are a lot of small lakes in Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram and they are all overflowing. That’s the main issue,” he explains. 

Both Raja and Venkatesan point out that for residents in Mudichur, flooding has been a recurring nightmare since 2015. So much so that Venkatesan decided to add another floor to his individual house. “I have been living here since 2012. This is a problem every year. My family and I used to go to our relative’s house when it flooded. But I don’t like going every year. So, I constructed a first floor with two rooms. We are stuck here now,” he says.

Image courtesy: Venkatesan

A few inches of water has entered the ground floor of his house in spite of it being built several feet above the road-level. “In 2015, we lost a lot of valuables. There is about a foot of water in the parking area now. I parked my car somewhere else on Sunday as I knew there would be flooding,” he says. Venkatesan’s family had also stocked up on food. The 2015 floods, he says, has prepared everyone in Mudichur.

Image Courtesy: KS Raja

Electricity supply was disrupted from around 6pm on November 11. At the time of publishing, residents say that the power has not been restored. “I tried calling the helpline numbers but no one is picking up. The rescue team isn’t coming to our area,” says Raja, who adds that his apartment is located between Mudichur and Varadharajapuram and neither panchayat takes up their issues.

“I have sent so many messages to officials but no one cares,” says Venkatesan, who says that the canal should be deepened and bunds raised to mitigate flooding. However, experts have pointed out that unregulated development in the Adyar flood plains is the reason Mudichur is hit hard every monsoon season.

Kolathur still inundated

Residents in north Chennai areas like Jawahar Nagar, Perambur, Pulianthope are also struggling. In Kolathur’s Bharath Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, water levels, which had touched 5 feet on Thursday, had receded to around 3 feet by the afternoon of November 12. Iyappan Subramanian, who runs Sri Arunodayam, a home for destitute children with intellectual disabilities, has been helping provide rain relief in the area. “There are around 400 families living in huts that are in low-lying areas. Chennai Corporation has given us boats to transport food to them,” he tells TNM.

Bharath Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, he says, is the first locality to be hit hard when it rains. While Kolathur is Chief Minister MK Stalin’s constituency, Iyappan says that nothing has changed on the ground since 2015. “The CM has visited the area. But even if it rains for two days here, it gets flooded. This year especially it has been a big problem,” he says.

Image courtesy: Iyappan Subramanian

Iyappan, who also resides in Kolathur not far from Bharath Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, alleges that desilting work hasn't been done properly, causing the flooding. “Most canals are blocked by construction materials, and people have dumped garbage and lots of plastic waste. This has created havoc,” he says.

While power supply was disrupted for two days for residents of the Bharath Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, it was restored on November 11 night.

Read: North Chennai’s floods and its human cost remain unchanged after every rain

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