Many in Chennai's Seethammal Colony in Alwarpet have shifted out of their homes and moved their cars to a safer location, after inundation due to the rainwater reached a concerning level.

A resident standing on the side of a waterlogged street in Chennai's Seethammal Colony after heavy rains
news Chennai rains Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 15:01

60-year-old Ravi is a businessman who has been living in Seethammal Colony in Chennai’s Alwarpet for the past 30 years. Around 2 pm on Thursday, November 11, the rains had abated briefly in the area, and TNM caught him busily rushing out on to the flooded street after being stuck inside his home since November 6. There has been no power supply in the area for the past six days. Ravi has not been able to charge his phone, he’s running out of food supplies at home, and shops nearby have been closed due to the heavy rains that have been lashing the city. Fearing an accident at his age due to the flooded street, Ravi has remained at home for the past few days.

“There has been no power for five days now, we don’t even have drinking water now,” Ravi tells TNM as he’s about to step out to buy some bread. “Our pumps cannot function and water cannot be pumped out. Imagine, this is an area in central Chennai. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, lives a few streets away. Despite that, this is the condition of the road.”

Ravi lives on 3rd main road in Seethammal Colony and the situation has been similar for around 300 households in the area. Many have shifted out of their homes and moved their cars to a safer location as well, after inundation due to the rainwater reached a concerning level. Only very few people, like Ravi who lives on the corner of the street, and some of his neighbours, have stayed back.

Ravi shares that one of his neighbours has drawn a wire from a commercial store near his home to get power supply. He is the only one who has electricity. Ravi handed over his phone to that neighbour so that he could get his phone charged.

“We called the Chennai Corporation many times, but no help has arrived yet. Water is not being pumped out at all. Look at CM Stalin’s residence next to ours. Water has been pumped out of there,” Ravi says.

Seethammal Colony is an upscale area in the heart of Chennai near TT Krishnamachari Road in Alwarpet. TNM visited the residential area off TTK Road. Chief Minister MK Stalin’s home is located nearby, as is actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s office. Poes Garden, where Superstar Rajinikanth and late CM J Jayalalithaa’s residences are located, is less than two kilometres away.

Dr Shanta and her family moved out of the area on Monday, November 7 itself, as the city was predicted to get extremely heavy rainfall. “Things are worse than what they were in 2015. The water is just not receding. On Monday itself, the water was four feet high outside our home. We somehow managed to get out of the house when the rain stopped. Around 25 people living near my home shifted out that day itself. We have not been able to come back.”

Many people have either shifted to their relatives’ homes in higher areas, or have moved to hotels or community halls nearby, and have not been able to return as the water in the area continues to rise. Pumping out the water now seems difficult as the nearby TTK Road, where the water could have been pumped out to, has also been flooded. Many residents now question why the water was not pumped out in time, when the water level was increasing initially.

A similar situation has been reported across many low-lying areas in Chennai. Water has entered homes, and those who can have moved out to safer areas. Learning from 2015 and afraid of a repeat, many people moved their cars to higher areas like flyovers.

Shops, stores and commercial establishments are closed and only stray tea shops and medical stores are open in many parts of the city. Several subways and roads remain closed due to inundation. Chennai airport has also suspended arrivals till 6 pm on November 11.

Watch TNM’s report from Seethammal Colony: 

Also read TNM’s other ground reports from Chennai: 

Ground report: In Chennai’s Ashok Nagar, homes remain flooded, cars submerged

Ground report: Govt hospital in Chennai’s KK Nagar flooded, patients shifted

Chennai rains: Scared of losing cars like in 2015, residents park them on flyovers

Chennai airport suspends arrivals till 6 pm on November 11

Edited by Nitin B

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.