Let up in rainfall brings relief to residents

Several colonies still waterlogged in Tiruchi; situation under control, say district officials

Though officials and water managers heaved a sigh of relief due to the let-up in rain in catchment areas of the Koraiyar and the Ariyar, there has been no respite for several residential colonies in Tiruchi that have been facing the onslaught of water inundation for more than two weeks.

According to data available with the State Disaster Management Agency, Iluppur and Viralimalai in Pudukottai district, the main catchment areas of Koraiyar, recorded 5 mm and 7.10 mm of rainfall during the last 24 hours ending 6 am on Tuesday.

Similarly, Manapparai, another catchment area of the Koraiyar and the Ariyar, too recorded less than 5 mm. It ultimately brought down the inflow in the two rivers and, subsequently, in the Kudamuriti too.

About 8,000 cusecs of water from the Koraiyar and the Ariyar flowed in the Kudamuriti on Monday. It began to recede early on Tuesday. It came down to about 5,000 cusecs around 10 a.m., thereby bringing big relief to officials, water managers and the affected people, who were keeping their fingers crossed due to rise in water level above the danger mark at various points.

It helped the officials to restore normalcy on Pirattiyur on Tiruchi-Dindigul Road and at Shanmuga Nagar on Tiruchi-Vayalur Road, where spillover water from the Ariyar and the Kudamuriti flowed on Monday.

But other than that, the let-up in water level did not bring immediate relief to residents living along the banks of the Ariyar and the Kudamuriti, who have been facing water inundation for more than two weeks.

According to official sources, at least 50 residential localities in the city have been affected by water inundation. Until last week, the residential colonies situated on the western banks of the Kudamuriti were mainly affected due to water spillover at various vulnerable points. But the sudden surge in the water level on Sunday and Monday caused water entering in colonies on the eastern banks of the Kudamuriti too.

Tales of woe

Shanta Sheela Nagar and Athi Nagar were among the worst hit. Almost all 300 houses in Athi Nagar and 200 houses in Shanta Sheela Nagar were partially submerged in water, thereby forcing the residents to come out of their dwellings. Along with children including newborn babies, the residents spent the day and night for the last three days under the tarpaulin tents erected by them on the eastern bund of the Kudamuriti.

“My house is under the neck-deep water. All household utensils and valuables are floating. I had no other option but to lock the door and take refuge on the bund,” said V. Subramanian (70) of Shanta Sheela Nagar.

Several residents said they hardly had good sleep since water entered their houses on Sunday.

“We can not describe our sufferings as we spent sleepless nights on the bund for two days on Sunday and Monday as the water level in Kudamuriti kept increasing. We do not know how long we will have to live on the bund,” said M. Manickam, another resident.

A senior official told The Hindu that the breach on the right banks of the Ariyar for about 200 meters had caused water inundation on the residential colonies along Tiruchi-Dindigul road. The timely action to prevent the breach on the left bank saved the situation. Otherwise, the heavy flow in the Ariyar would have led to flooding in the Uyyakondan canal. It ultimately would have led to water entering many residential colonies in the heart of the city.

Stating that the situation was under control, the official said water had started receding in the rivers, watercourses and residential colonies. There was no cause for worry as there was no heavy rain forecast for the next few days.

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