The rain water level may be receding in the city bringing relief to people but it is leaving a huge trail of mess, prompting the Chennai Municipal Corporation to launch a mass cleanliness drive for all its 200 wards on Sunday, for which some of the civic bodies from the neighbouring districts have also lend a helping hand to.
The civic body, headquartered at the iconic Ripon Building, has been working day in and day out since the torrential rains pounded the capital, to drain out water and clear clogged sewerage.
“From today we have launched a mass sanitation drive to clean the city of the mess and the filth left behind by the receding water. It is a tall order but we are responding to it on a war-footing,” a senior Chennai Corporation official told PTI.
The torrential rains last week, which flooded several regions of the capital city, in some area uptil first floor, wreaked havoc in places like Mudichur, Guindy, Perumbakkam and Meenambakkam (airport area), forcing people to take shelter at railway stations and hotels and lodges in high-ground areas.
Established as the Madras Corporation over 320 years ago, the Chennai Municipal Corporation is said to be the oldest municipal body of India, and currently has 200 wards under it.
“We will cover all 200 wards under our jurisdiction, and try to put the city back as it was again. Life is returning t normalcy here and we have pumped out a lot of water in many areas to help people cope with this massive tragedy,” he said.
The Corporation is divided into 15 zones, which include Manali, Royapuram, Anna Nagar, Alandur, Adyar and Perungudi, most of which were submerged after the incessant rains battered the city and triggered a civic, transport and communication infrastructure collapse.
“The city is trying to get back on its feet. And, we too have employed a 24,500-strong manpower to plough through the mountain of mess as soon as possible. We have pressed 407 vehicles into service for scavenging purposes and our staff is working tirelessly to restore civic order in Chennai,” he added.
Bus stations, markets and other public places are wallowing in filth left behind by the water and, the corporation is racing to clean up the city, fearing outbreak of any disease. But given the herculean task that they face, municipal bodies from neighbouring cities have also thrown their weight behind it.
“Some of the areas like Cuddalore were themselves affected, and so they are carrying out works at their places. Nine municipal bodies from other cities like Trichy, Coimbatore, among others, are helping us in our cleanliness drive,” the senior civic official said.