The Chennai civic body was pulled up by the Madras High Court today as the city struggled with floods for the last four days. The court has warned that it would take up the matter on its own if the situation does not improve by Friday or Saturday.
"What have you been doing since 2015 floods? It is a pity that half the year we long for water and rest of the year we are flooded or die in water," the court observed while hearing a plea for clearing of encroachments.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has blamed the erstwhile AIADMK government for the waterlogging in the state capital.
"Earlier government had done nothing, we are working to overcome all. We don't know what they did with the Smart City funds from the Union government. They did not work and just collected commission. We would institute an inquiry commission," he said, adding that the waterlogging in the city has receded to a certain extent.
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, the commissioner of Greater Chennai, told NDTV that water is being released gradually from Chembarambakkam lake and there will be no sudden excess discharge like 2015. So far, 2000 cusecs of water has been released, one-tenth of the amount released in 2015.
As the meteorological department warned about heavy to very heavy rainfall today, the Chennai Corporation deployed 41 boats to rescue people in vulnerable low-lying areas.
The civic body has deployed 570 giant pumps and 200 heavy duty pumps and teams are ready at all zones with power saws, earth movers and generator sets.
The state government has appointed five senior bureaucrats as nodal officers to monitor preventive measures and relief in Chennai and Chengalpattu in view of the met department warning.
Four persons have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu and 263 huts and 70 houses have been damaged. So far, 314 people have been accommodated in relief camps.
Chennai and its suburbs in Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts have witnessed rain since Saturday morning. It continued through Saturday night and turned out to be the heaviest in recent years since the 2015 floods.