Services pick up pace, Army Chief undertakes survey

Services pick up pace, Army Chief undertakes survey

Services pick up pace, Army Chief undertakes survey
Flood-ravaged Chennai and its suburbs enjoyed further respite from rains today but residents battled scarcity of commodities and high prices while communication services and train services were partially restored.

But air services, suspended till tomorrow, may take two or three more days to resume. Only technical flights and ferry services were operated today.

However, intermittent rains and an overcast sky have left  people worried. The Regional Meteorological Centre has forecast light rains in the next 24 hours for the city and suburbs.

Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, S R Ramanan told reporters that heavy rains were possible in the coastal and southern districts of the state. He has advised fishermen of southern coastal districts against venturing into sea for fishing.

At least 245 people have died in rain-related incidents since October one. The worst-hit city and suburbs and Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts  took a pounding on Tuesday when a large number of areas  were flooded. The deluge destroyed crucial road and rail links, shutdown the airport, snapped power and telecom lines and left lakhs of people stranded.

In a big relief to the hapless residents, supply of milk and vegetables picked up pace today but there were complaints of scarcity in several places coupled with high prices for essentials.

Mobile phone and internet services were getting restored in a staggered manner in several parts of the city.

Bringing cheers to stranded passengers, Southern Railway announced resumption of services to several inter-State destinations including Bengaluru and Mysore from here effective tomorrow. Also, local train services here resumed today between Egmore-Tambaram.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh undertook an aerial survey of the worst flood hit areas here and assured that troops would continue to take up rescue efforts till such time it was needed by the State.

"Chief of Army Staff has assured the troops will continue rescue efforts till needed by the civil administration", an official release said.

He said more troops, equipment and medical teams would be  made available "as required". The Army has rescued up 5,500  affected people and shifted them to safer places, the release said.

IAF, Southern Air Command, Senior Air Staff Officer, Air Marshal, P N Pradhan said the IAF has deployed 13 helicopters, C17s and C130s for relief and rescue operations in Chennai, following the flooding.

Also, electricity supply which was withdrawn to almost all parts of the city is now getting restored in phases. Allaying fears, IOC today said there was "no fuel or LPG shortage" in the city and all efforts were being made to effectively dispense fuel. Water-logging hampered dispensing fuel, it was said.

State-run Aavin said it was taking adequate measures to step up milk supply and asserted that supplies would get fully restored by tomorrow.

Though flood waters have receded in major roads here, inundatation continued in several other areas hampering movement of vehicles and inconveniencing pedestrians.

According to the state government, as many as 3,50,000 people have been rescued and moved to safer places since the commencement of the northeast monsoon in October.
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