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Chennai, Dec 6 – Thanks to the Rs 4,000 crore flood mitigation works undertaken by the government, the loss of lives due to flash floods in Chennai city and suburbs were considerably reduced this time, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin said and stated that the state would seek

Rs 5,000 crore an interim financial assistance from the Centre for relief works in affected areas.

He also said the DMk MPs would raise the issue in Parliament to get interim relief of Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre.

He told reporters here that the deaths this time due to unprecedented and heavy rains–when compared to 2015–in the wake of cyclonic storm was reduced to just seven, which too should not have happened, when compared to more than 199 deaths that occurred during the 2015 flash floods.

Even these seven deaths had happened were unfortunate., he added.

Apparently taking a dig at the previous AIADMK regime, Mr Stalin, the 2015 flash floods were ‘artificial’ because of water released from Chembarambakkam lake and the present floods caused by torrential rains with several locations in the city recording in excess of 40 cm and some areas in excess of 30 cms of rain on Sunday-Monday, was natural, despite the flood mitigation works taken up by the government and release of water from the lake well in advance.

He said the state government will seek an interim relief of Rs 5,000 crore from the Union government

for the damages caused by the torrential rain that pounded Chennai and neighbouring districts, that resulted in waterlogging in several parts of the city and suburbs, which remained virtually cut off reviving the memories of the devastation caused by 2015 floods.

Though there has been respite from rains on Monday, with sun shining all through the day before the weather turned gloomy at dusk with thick cloud cover, several suburban areas, including Mudichur near Vandalur and Velacherry and surrounding areas continued to remain marooned and resembled an island.

The authorities pressed fibre boats to rescue people and also distributed food packets and other essential items, including milk and curd.

Food packets were.also air dropped in some suburban areas as people were forced to remain indoors and could not venture out for purchase of essentials due to heeavy waterlogging.

Meanwhile, several parts of the City too remained under thick sheets of water even as the Grete Chennai Corporation authorities are working round the clock to drain out the water.

Several subways in the city were also closed for the last two days causing hardship to the people, as the government has announced a holiday for all educational institutions for Tuesday also in view of water stagnation.

On disruption in power supply in several parts of city as a preventive measure to prevent electrocution incidents, he said it was restored in more than 80 per cent of the localities and in the remaining areas it would be restored by today once the water level receded.

On the Leader of the Opposition and AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s criticism over the water stagnation in Chennai notwithstanding the DMK government spending over Rs 4,000 crore for flood mitigation works, Mr. Stalin said: “I don’t want to politicise the issue.”

“Only because Rs 4,000 crore was spent on flood mitigation works, Chennai escaped the greater

fury of the record rain after 47 years. It was possible only because of meticulous planning and implementation by the ruling DMK”, he added.

Mr. Stalin also visited various relief camps in the city and special medical camps and distributed relief materials to people.

Meanwhile, Mr Stalin thanked his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for expressing solidarity with the people of Chennai hit by the unprecedented record rains and floods.

In a social media post, Mr. Stalin said: “Appreciate your solidarity, comrade Pinarayi Vijayan grateful for your outreach. Chennai is steadily recovering, and your genuine concern on behalf of the people of Kerala warms our hearts. Together, we’ll overcome this challenge.”