Over 50 residents of Kovilambakkam in Kancheepuram district stood near their homes in knee deep water on Tuesday, holding placards and carrying provisions in a plastic bag. Their protests coming in the midst of an active Northeast monsoon in Chennai and neighbouring districts, has highlighted that the state government is once again unprepared for the rains and civic issues that it brings with it.
From Monday, districts across the state have witnessed severe waterlogging, following heavy rains.
According to the Meteorological Department, Sirkali in Nagapattinam received 31 cms of rainfall as of 8.30am on Tuesday, while parts of Chennai (Anna University, DGP office) recorded 14cm of rain.
One rain related death was reported from Cuddalore where a woman reportedly died after a wall collapsed on Tuesday, while two youngsters died due to electrocution in Chennai on Monday.
The flood control team in the Ripon Building had in fact told TNM that all complaints that they receive in Chennai will be handled in 24 hours. Yet, several roads remain clogged by water, making it near impossible for motorists to commute safely. Neighbourhoods like Madipakkam, Vyasarpadi, parts of Anna Nagar, Mudichur were among the worst hit.
Bagyalakshmi Nagar in Chennai
Kagithapuram in Chennai
Kovilambakkam in Chennai
Despite these pictures flooding social media timelines, the government remain in denial.
"We have taken all the measure which were taken by our Amma. 98% of problem is settled and may be in one or two places the condition is like what you have indicated (waterlogging)," Fisheries Minister Jayakumar told the media. "We have facilities which foreign countries have. Whatever the problem is, our officials will settle it," he claimed.
Joining this chorus of denial was Local administration minister SP Velumani who claimed that TN have has more advanced for flood control than US or UK.
The protesters at Kovilambakkam had, meanwhile, approached various authorities for a solution but have received no aid so far. "We have given reports to the collector and the additional collector even visited the spot," says Shankar, a resident of the area. "But they have done nothing to help us," he says.
With the Meteorological Department now predicting that rains will continue for three more days with north and coastal Tamil Nadu facing heavy showers, residents of the state are bracing themselves to face the brunt of civic apathy this monsoon season.