Chennai, December 5: After devastating floods in Souther state of country, life in Tamil Nadu is gradually returning to normal in rain-ravaged Chennai. Rail and road services were restored on limited scale on Friday. Chennai Egmore railway station, one of the two major terminals in the city, has started operating.
Five special trains left for southern destinations yesterday after a days of shut down. State transport department says, 65 percent of the bus services resumed operations in Chennai and more will start plying on the roads today.
Limited air services are operating from the makeshift airport at the naval base INS Rajali at Arakkonam. Chennai Corporation said more than 49 percent of the 859 residential areas in Chennai have been cleared of waterlogging.
Certain low lying areas are devoid of electricity for the last six days and the state power operator TANGEDCO has informed that the situation would improve once stagnant water recedes.
There were brief spells of rain in Chennai yesterday evening. Met office has predicted moderate showers during the two days.
Naval vessels INS Shakti and INS Shyadhri arrived Chennai port Friday evening with loads of relief materials from its base at Visakhapattinam.
Indian Coast Guard mobilises more relief materials through its two vessels Samudra Paheredar and Vigraha. The agency took six helicopter sorties to drop 700 kg relief materials in the marooned areas.
Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force also made several sorties for recce and dropping of essential supplies. Nine Army columns with specialised skills are deployed in highly affected locations like West Tambaram and Mudichur. Five more columns, each comprising 75 troops, are expected to arrive shortly.
NDRF rescued hundreds of people using inflatable rubber boats and also distributed food supplies. State chief secretary K. Gnanadesikan told media persons that there is perfect coordination among all teams involved in relief and rescue operations including the state and central agencies.
Most of the petrol and diesel outlets in Chennai are turning away vehicles saying they are out of stock. However, official sources say the situation will improve shortly. Telecom service providers have also been asked to normalise their services at the earliest.
Union Finance Ministry has directed banks to remain open on Sunday and to operate mobile ATMs by moving the machines using boats or other modes.
Meanwhile, delta districts of Nagapattinam, Tanjore and Cuddalore were lashed by heavy rain on Friday, affecting normal life. Salt panes remain under water at Vedharanyam and thousands of acres of paddy field are submerged in Nagapattinam district.
As the sea is rough, fishermen did not venture into the sea. Weather forecast for the region says similar conditions would prevail for two more days.
Media reports, rescuing marooned people and providing them the much needed relief is the way of celebrating Navy Day for the sailors deployed in the flood affected areas of Chennai and its suburbs.
Despite several days of inundation in many areas, there is no report of any spread of epidemic so far. Calls for help continue to flood the helplines of various agencies and rescue and relief efforts go on a war footing.
Rumours spread like wild fire that large reservoirs have breached and the state police have asked public not to panic by such pranks.