A Chennai family's four-day ordeal ended when the Yoganandans who have been locked up in their Narayanapuram home decided to check into a hotel. The police came to the rescue of the family as water entered around 200 homes in the Chettinad Enclave neighbourhood in South Chennai.
Many families of the enclave that is built on the natural pathway of the nearby Anai Eri lake on Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) approved layout have left their homes as the flood-prone area was severely impacted this year as well.
"We have no power at home since the past four days. We cannot stay like this any longer," deeply distressed Mr Yoganandan said.
Another resident Mr Vasudevan said, "We pay so much water tax since 2015 but never get water. Now there is no water even in our washrooms. At least they should try to restore power in the area."
Perils of living in such an area have now dawned upon the residents.
Ms Sukanya, a young mother said, "Snakes come inside our homes. This is not safe for our children."
"This is a nightmare. My father underwent brain surgery recently. How will we take him to a hospital in case of an emergency," Ms Sona said.
As there has been no electricity for four days in the area, IIT aspirant Antony Johnson had to skip his classes.
"The power cut is detrimental to my studies," he said.
Residents claim that the development of this colony is not a violation. "This is an approved layout. Water used to pass through our area freely, but now there is encroachment on the lakes. That is why this is a problem," said Arun Kailash, a resident of the colony.
While experts blame indiscriminate conversion of lake beds into housing sites, Tamil Nadu government claims that proactive measures have been taken to desilt storm water drains and rivers.
Bhagat P, Program Manager at GeoAnalytics, said, "In this condition when the city has been growing and turning dense, the artificial storm water drains should have played the role of carrying the water so that water can move along when it rains heavy. Unfortunately, for the city the storm water drains have not been great as they have not been designed in a scientific manner."
As Chennai braces for more rains for the next three days, the city has already received more than 1000 mm rains since October and the bulk of it in November.