A relatively dry spell in Chennai and its neighbourhood brought relief to the flood affected residents and rescue agencies as hopes of water fast receding went up. Mobile phone services, which had taken a severe beating following the heavy downpour on Tuesday, were partially restored even as other services such as ATMs continued to remain shut. After a day-long dry spell yesterday, some areas in and around the city including Kodambakkam, T Nagar and Tambaram received showers in the night but Friday morning saw some bright skies with people out on the streets. The break in rains resulted in a sharp fall in the discharge of waters from Chembarapakkam, Pondi and Puzhal lakes leading to reduction in the water levels of the two rivers that criss-cross the city.
Though the water was receding in many parts of the city the misery of citizens showed little let up as power remained suspended in many areas as a precautionary measure, officials said. Safe drinking water continued to remain a luxury for many. Milk and newspaper supplies were erratic and many citizens complained that vegetables were still being sold at high rates. Transport services were also showing signs of picking up. Limited commercial flight operations have started this morning from the Rajali naval air station in Arakkonam near Chennai. Train services on the suburban Chennai Arakonnam stretch were partially restored. Southern Railway officials said they were yet to take a call on restoration of services on the other busy Tambaram-Chennai beach route which covers both business and residential areas.
The Chennai Metro line continued to witness enhanced patronage in the wake of suspension of bus and rail transport. With a focus on intensifying relief and rescue operations to provide aid to rain-hit people of Chennai and adjoining areas, the NDRF has bolstered its strength by adding ten more teams for the job and has rescued 9,000 people till now. Director General of the force, O P Singh, said his teams are expected to rescue and reach out to more number of people today as water has receded in some places. “We have rescued about 9,000 people till now. Ten more teams from Pune and Patna have been mobilised to Tamil Nadu. We expect to have better results today as things have improved and communication is enhanced,” he said.