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11/17/2006

Rains lash Rameswaram, Mandapam

Filed under: global islands,india — admin @ 6:20 am

Rameswaram, Nov 16: Several parts of Rameswaram island and Mandapam panchayat union in the mainland are in knee-deep water following heavy rains last night.

Almost all fishermen colonies in Rameswaram, Pamban and Mandapam are surrounded by knee-deep water. Even main roads adjoining the sea are flooded in the island, officials said.

Panaikulam, Atrangarai, Perungulam, Uchupuli where an air-base is located, Vethalai, Pattinamkathan, Mandapam refugee camp, Pamban, Thangachimadam, Chinnapalam and Kundhukal have been inundated and people have to wade through the water even to go to adjoining houses.

Most parts of the highway between Ramanathapuram and Mandapam have also been inundated following torrential rains last night. Rameswaram and surrounding areas have been experiencing heavy rains for the past 10 days.

Meanwhile, the newly elected local body officials in Rameswaram and Mandapam claimed that there was a shortage of sanitary workers and they were also facing financial problems.

J Jaleel, Chairman of Rameswarm municipality, and vice-chairman M Rajamani claimed that they had to engage people and also lend a helping hand to them in draining out water from low-lying areas.

The road stretch between Tamaraikulam and Nochi Oorani, Raghunathapuram – Kumbaram, Raghunathapuram – Vazhuthur Vilakku; Sathapan Valasai – Ariyaman Beach are in waist deep water today. Local revenue officials said most coastal villages are not getting essential items, including milk, rice and vegetables.

The district administration had been requested to supply essential commodities and house people in flood-affected areas in some mandapams.

Officials said that efforts were being made to drain the flood water into the sea by forming channels and also maintain the supply of essential commodities. Many office-goers and students had been stranded in villages as there were no bus services to many coastal villages.

Work on strengthening the banks of big lakes, tanks and ponds is being taken up on a war-footing to preserve water for the summer, district officials said.

Sand bags were being used to prevent flood waters from entering residential areas. Cyclone relief centres had been opened in many villages in Mandapam and Rameswaram, they said.

The services of the Navy and Coast Guard had not been sought so far, but it would be done if required, they said.

Officials said they did not have sufficient funds as the new local body chief had just assumed office. They agreed that there was severe shortage of sanitary workers, but said that steps were being taken to provide temporary hands in all the affected places.

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