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Heavy rains lash Chennai, adjoining districts

 
Chennai, Nov 18 (IANS) As predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy rains have again lashed Chennai and its adjoining districts, as well as several other areas in north Tamil Nadu.

As a result, schools and colleges in the affected areas were shut on Thursday.

To prevent any untoward incident, units from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), fire and rescue, police, and the health department are on standby.

In a statement, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said it has already placed motor pumps in the low-lying areas of the state capital to prevent water stagnation.

The GCC said that it was removing plastic and other garbage to prevent the blockage of drains, adding that around 5,700 metric tonnes of garbage is removed on a daily basis from various parts of Chennai.

The Corporation has also coordinated with the state fisheries department for the use of fishing boats if water logging takes place.

According to the GCC, 50 boats are put on standby for any possibilities.

Due to the heavy rains last week, the areas of Ashok Nagar, Ashok Pillar, and Adayar in Chennai are still inundated.

Meanwhile, Puducherry has also declared holidays for schools and colleges due to the heavy rains.

The IMD also said that the rains in Chennai and adjoining districts will continue till November 21.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin held an urgent meeting with Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu and state Director General of Police, C. Sylendra Babu to receive an on-the-spot report on the preparations being taken to counter the heavy rains and possible water inundation in the low lying areas of the city.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have said that the filling of paddy fields and other sources of water bodies with soil and constructing huge buildings have led to such a situation for Chennai city.

Sri Murugan, a green activist for the NGO Thanal, working on climate change and study of mangroves, told IANS: "Chennai is bearing the brunt of the greed of our politicians who had given sanctions for filling paddy fields and other water sources with soil and indulged in heavy constructions. Poor people who live in huts and other residential accommodations are facing the brunt of nature's fury."

--IANS
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