While Chennai is reeling under the continuous threat of heavy rains, its municipal administration minister SP Velumani is not to be seen anywhere. Leaving the state to fend for itself during heavy showers, the minister is said to have gone for a study tour to Australia. Although the subject for the tour is unknown, people are criticising him severely, especially when he should have been in the state to oversee the functioning of the corporation during crisis.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Palaniswami is said to have reviewed the monsoon preparedness and has assured the people of the state of better administration. According to a report by NDTV, he said, "There's no water-logging in Chennai now. Inundation was mainly in low-lying areas. The 434 crore storm water drain project Jayalalithaa had launched is nearing completion".
Ironically, the northeast monsoon, which set in during the last week of October had led to severe water logging in Chennai recently. This had triggered fear of floods of the 2015 December-scale among the people. However, even amid this Velumani had grabbed the limelight with his chest-thumping statement comparing the disaster management system in Tamil Nadu with that of US and the UK. He had said, "It rained in Bengaluru recently, earlier it rained in the UK and US and we were told it was flooded everywhere. It shows our action is better than those of developed countries."
Earlier last week, all the schools in Tamil Nadu were closed and the IT employees were asked to work from home. The coastal pockets of Tamil Nadu received 30 cm of rain, which led to serious waterlogging. However, while water logging cleared in Chennai's main city area the next day itself, several low-lying areas remained inundated for a week.
As Chennai faces the second spell of rains today, the met department has predicted that the weather conditions will continue for three more days. No waterlogging has been reported till now even as schools in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram have been shut for monsoons.