Rain re­lief for Chennai, res­cue ops gather pace

Modi vis­its rain-rav­aged city, an­nounces aid of ` 1,000 crore

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents and PTI let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: The sun shone for the first time in three days and the wa­ter level started re­ced­ing across Chennai on Thurs­day, speed­ing up res­cue and re­lief oper­a­tions in the city crip­pled by one of the worst ur­ban flood­ing in re­cent times.

Of­fi­cials said thou­sands were still ma­rooned in their in­un­dated homes but added that re­lief in the form of food and med­i­cal sup­plies has reached a large sec­tion of the nearly three mil­lion peo­ple af­fected by the floods, said to be the worst in an In­dian me­trop­o­lis af­ter the Mum­bai del­uge of July 2005.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi flew into the cap­i­tal of Tamil Nadu dur­ing the day and an­nounced im­me­di­ate re­lief of Rs 1,000 crore af­ter get­ting a first­hand ac­count of what he said was “the dam­age and mis­ery caused by the ex­tremely heavy rain­fall.”

The gov­ern­ment also threw open a naval air­base at Arakkonam, around 70 km from Chennai, for “lim­ited com­mer­cial flights” from Fri­day.

With the flooded civil air­port shut down till De­cem­ber 6, Arakkonam has be­come the hub of res­cue and re­lief flights by the In­dian Air Force and the Navy be­sides a spe­cial Air In­dia flight

to ferry stranded pas­sen­gers.

Through­out the day chop­pers made sor­ties across the city to res­cue ma­rooned peo­ple from rooftops and drop food pack­ets to fam­i­lies in dis­tress while thou­sands of res­cue per­son­nel in­clud­ing men from the Na­tional

Dis­as­ter Re­sponse Force (NDRF) joined the oper­a­tions in the in­un­dated lo­cal­i­ties.

Chief min­is­ter J Jay­alalithaa too con­ducted an aerial sur­vey of the flood-af­fected ar­eas.

But the bright sun did lift the peo­ple’s spir­its with the rain re­lent­ing af­ter days of tor­ren­tial down­pour.

Many Chen­naites even vis­ited the Ad­yar bridge and posed for self­ies with the swollen Cooum river as the back­ground.



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