Authorities closed schools and colleges in 12 Tamil Nadu districts on Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday as well after rain was forecast in the state’s coastal areas as Chennai struggled to counter the threat of diseases with low-lying areas inundated with stagnant water.
Officials sped up relief work and deployed armies of sanitation workers, trying to take advantage of the abundant sunshine and remove the piles of garbage and sewage gathered on roads.
Many Chennai residents have started returning home as water receded across the city but educational institutions will be closed until Wednesday.
The city is also staring at a mounting economic losses to public and private property. Many residents said their vehicles and household gadgets were beyond repair, saddling them with a heavy financial burden.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is also on a visit to flood-hit regions to take stock of relief measures amid rising criticism of the state government’s relief operations.
Chief minister Jayalalithaa issued a statement for the first time on Monday, asking people to remain calm. But it appeared to have done little to assuage public anger with a flurry of allegations against AIADMK workers and ministers of trying to strong-arm rescue efforts and usurp credit.
A few long distance trains from Chennai central and Egmore were cancelled, railway sources said.
The northern district of Cuddalore, however, continued to be badly affected, with rescue teams being rushed there fearing further damage.