Chennai limps back to normalcy; political spat over ‘Amma stickers’

Chennai floods. PTI file photoChennai, (IANS): An intermittent drizzle since Saturday morning added to worries of Chennai residents, battling the worst floods in a century, and now facing a shortage of drinking water and power amid mounting anger about absence of relief.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs.2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the Tamil Nadu floods while relief of Rs.50,000 has also been sanctioned for those seriously injured. At least 325 people have been killed so far.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), which met in New Delhi with Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha presiding, reviewed the situation and announced seven truck loads of dry ready-to-eat food had reached Chennai and 20 trucks were on the way, while the railways will supply two more lakh bottles of drinking water.

Sinha directed that necessary steps should be taken to restore telecom services, while the petroleum ministry was taking steps for availability of petroleum products. State-run banks said they will work on Sunday. A union health ministry team will also soon visit the state to assess the situation.

Armed forces and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams continued operations, switching focus from rescue to relief while the army said said it has deployed four medical teams to deal with anticipated problems.  Transport links were being slowly restored, with train services expected to resume from Monday, while limited civil flights continued from the naval airbase.

A state government statement said that 11.53 lakh people had been rescued and housed in 5,009 relief camps.

In Chennai, unlike some areas such as Mylapore, Adyar and Annasalai where the water level has receded and electricity supply partially restored, people in many pockets in north Chennai continued to remain cut off.

“Rumours of surplus water being released are also a cause of worry,” Revathi Vasan, of West Mambalam, told IANS.

She said power has not been restored in her Janakiraman Street while there is water-logging around her apartment complex and on the roads.

“There is nothing much to say about our situation except that we are still living with our kind neighbours,” she said.

In the neighbouring Kodambakkam area, residents complained of stagnant sewage water and no action on it by civic authorities.

Sveral people complained of the absence of any relief.

“No official agency brought us any food or drinking water. Only the residents of neighbourhood brought us some biscuits, and drinking water,” an angry resident of MGR Nagar in Ramapuram in Thiruvallur told a local television channel.

In Korukkupet in north Chennai, a resident complained that nobody from the government or any political party visited her locality to offer relief.

Fish carts and two-wheelers were used to transport patients to hospitals during the past three days, said a hospital official.

N. Sathyabhama, director of medical services and quality, southern region at Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., said the hospital received patients from several other hospitals affected by floods and power cuts, including some brought by these means.
Government-run Royapettah Hospital and Sri Ramachandra Hospitals also got patients from the hospitals affected by floods and power cuts.

Meanwhile, a political spat was sparked over purported attempts by AIADMK members to paste stickers of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa on relief material.

PMK leader S.Ramadoss alleged vehicles coming from outside to Chennai with relief materials are stopped at the border by ruling party members and let inside only after Jayalalithaa’s picture is stuck on the parcels, and called it an attempt at “cheap publicity”.

Forest Minister M.S.M.Anandan however told reporters that stickers with Jayalalithaa’s image are stuck only on relief materials sent by the AIADMK and not on packs sent by other organisations.

Chennai, and adjoining Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Cuddalore districts were battered by record rains for the past one month, leaving at least 325 people dead, several thousands in relief camps and millions affected due to lack of drinking water and power supply.

2 Comments

  1. This is pure insanity. While the people are hungry and starving, using the “Amma” poster at the relief materials for political mileage? Amma is a deity but didn’t see this flood was coming ? The greatest tragedy of India is the deity worship of politicians.

  2. Dear readers,
    On 26 January, 2001, an earthquake, registering 7.9 on the Richter scale, devastated the Gujarat region of India.
    More than 20,000 people died and 400,000 homes were destroyed.
    Millions of pounds were raised in aid to rebuild towns and villages in Gujarat, some of it came from the people of the East Midlands.
    However, there are questions of whether the money was spent wisely and did some of it even go missing? Inside Out East Midlands has been investigating.
    From the outset there were concerns about the misuse of funds.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/leicester/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9305000/9305201.stm

    BBC Inside Out East Midlands have uncovered more about how donations were spent, and not spent, in Gujarat 10 years on from the earthquake. You can watch the video piece at the top of this web page.
    Narendra Modi was made Gujarat’s chief minister in October 2001. He came in to the scene as people were not satisfied with Keshubhai Patel’s rule in Gujarat. Patel’s handling of earthquake relief put serious question marks on BJP’s ability to govern. Losing Sabarmati Assembly seat in September 2001 to Congress with a margin of over 19,000 votes and that too a seat that Congress has not won since 1985 suggested a clear shift in voters preference.

    In December 2002, when tension was still high and hundreds of thousands of Muslims still displaced, Gujarat went to poll. Narendra Modi delivered BJP’s biggest ever victory in Gujarat with 127 seats winning 49.85% of votes. This was an improvement over BJP’s impressive 1998 win of 117 seats with 44.81% of votes.

    PM’s relief fund misused Rs 40.65 crore contributions, only 30 crore deposited Tribune News Service
    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20071023/main8.htm

    Powerful ‘Amma’ is the coalition partner in the Modi’s NDA. The BJP which increased its tally in 2014 Lok Sabha has overwhelming keep score card. Seizing the opportunity,the Modi Bhakt as a regular troll in social media started silent character assassination. They are in full fledge offensive to attack Rahul,Sonia,Chidambaram,Former PM Manmohan singh and Congress whenever there are opportunities.

    We all know what happened to Billions of Bricks for Ram mandir. Before the next UP elections once again this issue will be racked up.

    Jai Hind

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