Normal life was affected in the hilly Nilgiris district following incessant rains over the past few days, leading to minor landslips among others, as the state government kept on standby various agencies to effectively handle any exigencies.
Two teams from the State Disaster Response Force with 160 personnel have been deputed to the district for possible rescue and relief work while the NDRF is on standby, Chief Minister M K Stalin said. The Nilgiris administration has declared holiday to all schools in the district.
Being a major tourist attraction, Udhagamandalam (Ooty) wore a deserted look, as no tourist activities were happening in the last 10 days, affecting the income of taxi drivers, businessmen and street vendors.
Almost all the 12 dams in the district are reaching its full capacity and rivers in Mayaru, Kallatti are brimming. Gudalur and Devala Avalanche witnessed unprecedented downpour. Cabbage, carrot and potato grown on 300 acres of farm land were totally damaged.
In a statement in Chennai, Chief Minister Stalin said while Tamil Nadu has received 48 per cent excess rainfall during the period June 1-July 14, at 115 mm, Nilgiris received 664.9 mm.
This was 125 per cent above normal, he said. The incessant rainfall has damaged huts, houses, uprooted trees in some areas and also led to “minor landslips” in some parts, he noted.
“As a precautionary measure, 105 people have been moved to relief camps and provided with food, safe drinking water and basic necessities,” he said.
A three-member ministerial delegation, which includes local minister K Ramachandran, and Revenue Commissioner SK Prabakar have been deputed to the district to oversee the rescue and relief activities.
Various multi-departmental zonal committees are also on standby with required equipment, including earthmovers. Heavy rains also lashed nearby Coimbatore district, leading to the Pilloor Dam reaching its capacity level of 100 ft.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister, KKSSR Ramachandran reviewed the situation to take preventive measures. Ramachandran, along with Electricity Minister, V Senthil Balaji visited the Pilloor Dam near Mettupalayam, which was reaching its capacity level of 100 feet, necessitating the release of surplus water.
The district administration issued a flood alert to the people of low lying areas and asked them not to venture out or fish or take bath in Bhavani river, where the surplus water was being released.