Chennai: Surviving on biscuits for the last two days and sleeping on the floor of the Tambaram Station on the outskirts of rain-hit Chennai, construction worker Saleem is waiting for a train to take him to his hometown in West Bengal.
Tambaram, a suburban area of the capital city has borne the brunt of the torrential rains here, with areas beyond 2-3 km outside of its station left inundated, cutting it off from rest of Chennai.
People rendered homeless have been forced to seek shelter in far-away hotels or homes of relatives, while the poor and needy are battling against the elements at railway stations or crowded rescue camps.
"I work as a construction worker in Perumbakkam, but all the sites are flooded, so work has been suspended.We came to the station two days ago, but all trains have been cancelled.I have to go to Murshidabad, but I am stuck here now. There is nothing to eat, no money left. We are surviving on biscuits and prayers," Saleem said,
But, Saleem is not the only one ruing his misfortune. Mason Manoj Mahto from Bihar and carpenter Raj Kumar from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, who both work in Tambaram area, are in a difficult condition in the aftermath of the tragedy.
"We ran out of work first...In some areas buildings are inundated. We then ran out of money, the ATMs have run out of cash, as there is no replenishment. Whatever bread and biscuit we had stocked up, we are surviving on that only," Mahto said.
At the old Tambaram Railway Station, local trains have been parked on the tracks and are awaiting green signal for the last several days.
Overflowing lakes and breaches in bunds have caused considerable damage forcing people to flee the areas.Lakes in Mudichur, Vardarajapuram, West Tambaram, Manivakkam have flooded the areas throwing life completely out of gear.
60-year-old Kannan, a resident of Tambaram on Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road area has moved to his relative's place in a different area after his house was left partly inundated in the deluge.
"I live near the Global Hospital, its basement and all are completely flooded, my house and the areas are all inundated. So, our entire family has moved to a different place. Some, of the people there are looking to stay in hotels but even they are all packed. We are going through a very tough time," he said.
The continuous rains have damaged the streets in several parts if the city, adding to the woes of commuters wading through knee-deep water at several places.
Some of the rain-affected people said that auto and taxi drivers were charging exorbitant fares, but overall a sense of cooperation and camaraderie is quite palpable in the city, trying to cope with the deluge.