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Tamil Nadu

TN floods: Air India to operate special flight from Arakkonam to Hyderabad

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National carrier Air India today said it would operate a special, all-economy class flight from INS Rajali, the Naval Air Station at Arakkonam near Chennai, to Hyderabad to evacuate passengers stranded in the city because of the floods.
 
The A320 aircraft took off from Hyderabad at 1730 hours and would evacuate about 120 passengers, a press release from the airline said.
 
Earlier, the Government had decided to use the Arakkonam facility for commercial flights temporarily as the Chennai airport has been closed until December 6 due to the floods. The operational area of the airport was under seven feet of water yesterday.
 
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Modi announces relief of Rs 1000 crore for TN as Chennai, nearby areas reel under floods

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday undertook an aerial survey of Chennai and adjoining districts which are reeling under unprecedented floods and later announced an immediate relief of Rs 1000 crore for Tamil Nadu to cope with the massive rescue, relief and rehabilitation challenges.

 
Chennai, nearby areas reel under floods
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today undertook an aerial survey of Chennai and adjoining districts which are reeling under unprecedented floods and later announced an immediate relief of Rs 1000 crore for Tamil Nadu to cope with the massive rescue, relief and rehabilitation challenges.
 
Apart from Chennai, Mr. Modi flew over the affected areas of Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts and held discussions with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on the situation.
 
“I have seen the damage and misery caused by the extremely heavy rainfall. The Government of India stands by the people of Tamil Nadu in their hour of need," Mr. Modi told journalists later.
 
"I have directed that Rs. 1000 crores be released immediately by Government of India to Tamil Nadu for immediate relief. This is over and above Rs. 940 crores which was released earlier," he added.
 
Meanwhile, personnel of the Army, Air Force, Navy, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and agencies of the State Government as well as voluntary organisations were engaged in massive round-the-clock rescue and relief efforts in Chennai and the nearby areas in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and southern Andhra Pradesh where incessant rains over the past few days have caused flooding and water-logging in many parts and brought normal life to a complete standstill.
 
The current spell of incessant rains is the worst downpour that the state has seen in nearly a hundred years, sources said, and road, rail and air traffic have been severely disrupted.
 
Most offices, commercial establishments and educational institutions in the city and surrounding areas are closed and the functioning of hospitals and hotels, among other facilities, has been affected.
 
Many areas have been without power supply for the past two days which, in turn, has also affected water supplies and telecommunication facilities.
 
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Thousands of people have taken shelter on the upper floors or roofs of their buildings and many of them, including children and the aged, were stranded without food, water and medicines for the past two or three days. Many people who needed medical attention had a harrowing time before help could reach them.
 
After heavy rains at several places in the region yesterday and last night, there was a dry spell today and the authorities were making efforts to reach some of the worst-affected areas and evacuate people stranded there to safer locations.
 
As the waters receded in some areas, people came out on the streets in large numbers to stock up on supplies, withdraw money from ATMs and fill up the tanks of their vehicles, leading to traffic jams.
 
The overall situation, however, remained grim with rivers, streams, lakes and drains overflowing and adding to the concern of the government and the people was the fact that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that heavy to very heavy rain would occur at isolated places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today and the next three days. There could also be heavy rains over south coastal Andhra Pradesh today, it said.
 
The Tamil Nadu government has issued an advisory to private undertakings to permit their staff to avail holidays today and tomorrow or work from home, as is done by many IT and other companies.
 
The Chennai Airport, where the operational area was under seven feet of water yesterday, was closed for traffic on Tuesday evening and will remain shut till December 6, and efforts were being made to send the passengers stranded there to Bangalore by road or to Chennai city.
 
Meanwhile, the government has decided to use INS Rajali, the Naval Air Station at Arakkonam, near Chennai, not only for the Air Force and Army aircraft but also for commercial flights temporarily to clear the rush of stranded passengers. 
 
National carrier Air India carried out a test flight to INS Rajali yesterday evening from Hyderabad and is expected to carry out about 120 stranded passengers to Hyderabad this evening.
 
The Southern Railway today decided to cancel until noon of December 5 all trains, including specials, originating or terminating at Chennai Central or Chennai Egmore stations in the city.
 
All trains, including specials, passing through Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore stations have also been cancelled until noon on December 5 in view of the continuous heavy rainfall and the flooding of tracks at various places in Chennai and surrounding areas, a press release from Southern Railway said.
 
The cancellation of trains over the past three days has left hundreds of passengers stranded at many stations and the railways were making efforts to provide them with food, water and other basic facilities.
 
Suburban railway services on some routes in Chennai were also affected.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi making an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai and adjoining districts in Tamil Nadu on December 3, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi making an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai and adjoining districts in Tamil Nadu on December 3, 2015.
Most people also did not have access to information through television channels, because of power breakdowns. Many of them also could not charge their mobile telephones, making it difficult for them to reach their loved ones or seek help.
 
Many areas in Chennai were under waist-high water and thousands of people had been moved to safer locations.
 
Roads were water-logged in many areas of the city and had caved in in some localities.
 
The Indian Navy is rushing INS Airavat with five additional boats, in addition to her six integral boats, divers and other material to Chennai from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
 
The Army said its men had rescued more than 4000 people so far, while an equal number had been evacuated by NDRF personnel.
 
The Army has deployed 40 rescue and relief teams and five engineer teams in the most critical areas of Chennai.
 
The teams are operating in areas which are the worst hit by the floods such as Tambaram, Mudichur, Kothurpuram, Pallavaram, Thiruneermalai, Urapakkam, Manipakkam, T. Nagar and Gudvancheri towards the outskirts of Chennai and also in the areas along the swollen Adyar river.
 
The Military Hospital at St Thomas Mount has been made functional and treatment is being given to many flood-affected patients there.
 
The IAF has been flying in NDRF teams and equipment and has deployed helicopters to evacuate people to safer locations. The IAF has also positioned one helicopter at Tirupati to aid the Andhra Pradesh government.
 
Responding to concern expressed by members in Parliament during a discussion on the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere yesterday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha that as many as 269 people had died in rain-related incidents in the current north-east monsoon season in the state.
 
He said 54 deaths had been reported from Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry.
 
He said the latest spell of heavy rains, over the past three days, had turned Chennai into an "island", cut off from the rest of the state and country, with road, rail and air links affected.
 
He said Chennai had received 330 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ended yesterday morning, the highest in more than a hundred years.
 
Mr. Singh gave details of the havoc caused by the rains and assured the House that the Centre would do everything possible to assist the state government in coping with the situation.
 
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TN floods: Railways cancel all trains from and to Chennai Central, Egmore

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As Chennai and nearby districts in Tamil Nadu grappled with the worst floods in decades, the Southern Railway today cancelled until noon of December 5 all trains, including specials, originating or terminating at Chennai Central or Chennai Egmore stations in the city.
 
All trains, including specials, passing through Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore stations have also been cancelled until noon on December 5 in view of the continuous heavy rainfall and water overflowing the tracks at various places in Chennai and surrounding areas, a press release from Southern Railway said.
 
The Southern Railway has set up helplines at various places for the benefit of the people in Chennai and adjoining areas.
 
The numbers are:
Chennai Central 044-25330714
Chennai Egmore 044-28190216
Chennai Control 044-29015204, 044-29015208
Madurai 0452-2308250
Tiruchchirappalli 0431-2418992, 9003864971, 9003864960
Thanjavur 9003033265, 04362-230131
Villupuram 9003864959
 
For the convenience of suburban passengers, skeleton services are being run in the following sections: Chennai Beach – Tiruvallur – Arakkonam - Tiruttani; Ennore – Gummidipoondi and Chennai Beach – Velacherry MRTS services.
 
The release said officers had been deputed to major stations to oversee the arrangements made for the stranded passengers.
 
Around 20,000 food packets and water packets have been  distributed to stranded passengers at major stations free of cost in association with NGOs like Jain Association and others. Another 10,000 food packets are being distributed today. In addition, food outlets are also selling food to the passengers.
 
Supply of sufficient drinking water and food items are ensured in the stations. Regular cholorination of water is being done.
 
The release said round-the-clock medical facilities have been provided in the Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Madurai and Tiruchirappalli stations and also in trains which have been stopped enroute.
 
Medical booths with sufficient medicines are made available at the major stations like Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Chennai Tambaram and Chengalpattu. Sanitation and cleanliness are ensured at all major stations/platforms.
 
Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel have been deployed at Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Pallavaram, Guduvancheri, Chengalpattu, Arakkonam, Tiruvallur, Katpadi and Jolarpettai to ensure the security of passengers and their properties.
 
They are also helping to regulate queues at cancellation counters, ticket counters, information centres and foot outlets.
 
Special trains were run today from Chennai Beach to Mangalore and Bangalore to cater to the stranded passengers. Arrangements are made with MTC buses for taking passengers to their residence.
 
The release said action was being taken on a war-footing to attend to repairs of damaged tracks and otehr structures. 
 
Between Chengalpattu and Villupuram, rail traffic was suspended due to erosion of bank as water overflowed from the Chembarambakkam lake.
 
Five wagons with  boulders and sand were unloaded to attend to the track inspite of heavy rains yesterday and the down line was made fit for traffic yesterday itself, it said.
 
On a bridge between Tada and Sullurpeta of Chennai Central – Gudur section of  Chennai Division, water from Kalingi river was flowing above the danger level. Traffic on the section was suspended on Tuesday night and the bridge was restored this afternoon.
 
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Between Guduvancherry and Vandalur of Tambaram- Chengalpattu section, both up and down lines were suspended because about 500 metres of tracks were washed away, along with formation and ballast. The track is being repaired, the release said.
 
Between Guindy and Saidapet in Chennai, water from the Adyar river is still flowing over the girder and the structure is under monitoring. All services including Chennai Beach – Tambaram suburban services have been suspended in the section.
 
All lines on the Basin Bridge-Chennai Central section are submerged by water overflowing from the Coovum river. The third line between Chennai Egmore and Chennai Beach has also been suspended.
 
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Modi leaves for Chennai to take stock of flood situation

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi left here today for Chennai for an assessment of the flood situation in the city and surrounding districts following incessant rains over the past several days.
 
"Leaving for Chennai to take stock of the situation arising due to the devastating floods," Mr. Modi said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
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TN floods: Chennai suburban railway services cancelled on some routes

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The Southern Railway said that suburban railway services on certain sections would not be operated today until further advice.
 
The sections are: Chennai Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu-Tirumalpur; Chennai Central-Tiruvallur-Avadi-Arakkonam-Tiruttani; Chennai Central-Gummidipoondi-Sullurpeta; and Chennai Beach-Gummidipoondi-Sullurpeta.
 
However, skeletal services  will be operated on the Gummidipoondi- Ennore and the Chennai Beach-Avadi-Tiruvallur-Arakkonam & Tiruttani routes.
 
MRTS service between Velachery-Thirumayilai-Chennai Beach will also be operated on a skeletal basis, a press release from the railway said.
 
The release said it would run special trains from Chennai Beach with open timings, as follows:
 
1.Passenger special from Chennai Beach to Bangalore via Perambur, Jolarpettai and proposed to departure at 10.00 hrs on 03.12.2015.  
 
2. Special Train to Mangalore will leave at 11.30 hrs  on 03.12.2015  from Chennai Beach to Bangalore via Perambur, Jolarpettai & Salem.
 
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Massive rescue, relief efforts on as Chennai reels under floods after incessant rains

Massive rescue and relief efforts were underway on Thursday in Chennai and nearby districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry where incessant rains over the past several days have caused flooding and water-logging in many areas and brought normal life to a standstill.

 
Chennai floods: Situation turns grim, streets water-logged
 
Massive rescue and relief efforts were underway today in Chennai and nearby districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry where incessant rains over the past several days have caused flooding and water-logging in many areas and brought normal life to a standstill.
 
The current spell of incessant rains is the worst downpour that the state has seen in nearly a hundred years, sources said, and road, rail and air traffic has been severely disrupted.
 
Most offices, commercial establishments and educational institutions in the city and surrounding areas are closed and the functioning of hospitals and hotels, among other facilities, has been affected.
 
Many areas have been without power supply for the past two days which, in turn, has also affected water supplies and telecommunication facilities.
 
Army, Air Force and Navy personnel have joined teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state government agencies and voluntary agencies in rescuing the affected people in different parts of the city and other districts.
 
The Indian Navy is rushing INS Airavat with five additional boats, in addition to her six integral boats, divers and other material to Chennai from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
 
After heavy rains at several places in the region yesterday and last night, there was a dry spell this morning and the authorities were making efforts to reach some of the worst-affected areas and evacuate people stranded there to safer locations.
 
The situation remained grim with rivers, streams, lakes and drains overflowing and adding to the concern of the government and the people was the fact that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that heavy to very heavy rain would occur at isolated places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today and the next three days. There could also be heavy rains over south coastal Andhra Pradesh today, it said.
 
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The Tamil Nadu government has issued an advisory to private undertakings to permit their staff to avail holidays today and tomorrow or work from home, as is done by many IT and other companies.
 
The Chennai Airport, where the operational area was under seven feet of water yesterday, was closed for traffic on Tuesday evening and will remain shut till December 6, and efforts were being made to send the passengers stranded there to Bangalore by road or to Chennai city.
 
The Southern Railway has cancelled several trains and diverted and rescheduled many more because of the flooding of tracks, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at some stations. 
 
Suburban railway services on some routes in Chennai were also affected.
 
Most people were also did not have access to information through television channels, because of power breakdowns. Many of them also could not charge their mobile telephones, making it difficult for them to reach their loved ones or seek help.
 
Many areas in Chennai were waist-high water and thousands of people had been moved to safer locations, while many others had taken shelter on the roofs and terraces of their buildings.
 
Roads were water-logged in many areas of the city and had caved in in some localities.
 
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TN floods: Mukherjee condoles loss of lives

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President Pranab Mukherjee today condoled the loss of lives and damange to infrastructure in Chennai and several other parts of Tamil Nadu due to heavy rains.
 
"I understand that relief and rescue efforts are ongoing and am confident that the people of Tamil Nadu will overcome this tragedy with fortitude and dignity," he said in a message to Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah.
 
"I share the grief of those who have lost their near and dear ones and extend my sympathies to all whose lives have been affected. I appreciate the efforts of the State Government, NDRF, civil society organisations and rescue workers as they continue to save lives and mitigate the suffering of the affected population. 
 
"I call upon the State Government and all other authorities to provide every assistance possible to the bereaved families as well as those affected. 
 
"My prayers and good wishes are with the people of Tamil Nadu during this difficult time," he added.
 
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TN floods: Chennai airport closed upto noon on December 6

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The Chennai airport has been closed upto noon on December 6 due to the floods caused by the incessant rains of the past few days in the city.
 
"The situation is being closely monitored and any further action will be taken subject to review for resumption of services as soon as possible," an official press release from the Ministry of Civil Aviation said here this evening.
 
Airport operations had continued till 8 pm yesterday with only sporadic missed approaches due to heavy rain and the associated poor visibility.
 
At 8 pm yesterday, when the level of water on the taxiways rose to about two feet, the airfield was closed initially for a period of three hours, which was subsequently extended up to 6 am this morning, the release said.
 
However, by 6 am today, the situation had deteriorated severely, leading to submerging of entire operational area in approximately seven feet of water, it said.
 
 All incoming flights were diverted to alternate airfields, except one international flight which was cleared due medical priority. 
 
During the closure, 12 domestic and 12 international arrivals were diverted on December 1.
 
As many as 34 numbers of aircrafts are stranded at the airport. All international and domestic flights to and from Chennai have been cancelled. 
 
The navigational aids within the airfield have been switched off due to heavy water logging. However, the Secondary Surveillance Radar is available and the Air Traffic Services to Overflying traffic are not affected, the release said.
 
As many as 90 passengers were sent to Bangalore by buses and 200 passengers stranded at the airport were transferred to Chennai city.
 
Airports Authority of India has established emergency Contact Numbers of Terminal Manager at Chennai for assistance. The contact numbers are+91 44 22563100 and + 91 8056220066. 
 
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TN floods: Airtel offers talk-time credit of Rs. 30 for its pre-paid customers

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As a gesture to those affected by the floods in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, telecom service provider Airtel today announced an auto approval of "talk-time" credit upto Rs. 30 for all its pre-paid mobile customers in the state.
 
The company has also arranged for free of cost credit of 10 minutes of Airtel-to-Airtel calling for prepaid mobile customers with a validity of two days.
 
A press release from the company said free of cost credit of 50MB mobile data will be provided for Airtel prepaid mobile customers with a validity of two days.
 
Airtel postpaid and fixed line customers whose bills are due to be paid immediately will get an extended time to make the payment and will experience uninterrupted services, it said.
 
The unprecedented rains have disrupted normal life in Chennai and other areas and restricted people's movements from their homes and other places.
 
"The uninterrupted rains have also resulted in excessive water logging and disruption of essential services in Chennai, thus causing power failures and impacting our services in some regions. We at Airtel are relentlessly working with the local authorities to enable smooth mobile communication for Airtel customers across the city," the release added.
 
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TN floods: Southern Railway cancels, diverts, reschedules more trains

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The Southern Railway today cancelled several trains and diverted and rescheduled many others due to the floods in Chennai and some other parts of the state.
 
According to an official press release, the following are the details:
 
Trains cancelled on 02.12.2015
  
From  Chennai Central
1.  12695 Chennai Central - TrivandrumSuperfast  Exp
2.  12685 Chennai Central - Mangalore Superfast Exp
3.   06108 Chennai Central - Quilon Exp
4.   12623 Chennai Central –Thiruvananthapuram Mail
5.   22639 Chennai Central –Alappuzha  Express
6.   12671 Chennai-Mettupalayam Nilgiri Exp
7.   22651 Chennai Central – Palani Express
8.   22205 Chennai Central-Madurai AC Duronto Bi-weekly Exp
 
From Chennai Egmore
1.  12633 Chennai Egmore-Kanniyakumari Express
2.  17651 Chennai Egmore-Kacheguda Express
3.   12637 Chennai Egmore -Madurai Pandian Exp
4.   16701 Chennai Egmore - Rameswaram Exp
 
Outstations Trains
1.   12604 Hyderabad -Chennai Central Chennai  Express
2.   12760 Hyderabad - Chennai-Charminar Express
3.   17644 Kakinada - Chennai Egmore Circar Express
4.   17652 Kacheguda - Chennai Egmore Express
5.    16702 Rameswaram - Chennai Egmore Exp
6.    16714 Rameswaram - Chennai Egmore Exp
7.   12634 Kanniyakumari -Chennai Egmore Exp
 
Trains diverted from other stations on 02.12.2015
1.  13352 Alappuzha-Dhanbad/Tatanagar Express diverted via Melpakkam, Renigunta ,Gudur
2.  12512 Thiruvananthapuram-Gorakhpur Raptisagar Express diverted via Melpakkam, Renigunta ,Gudur
3.  12521 Barauni-Ernakulam Weekly Express diverted via Tiruvottiyur,Perambur
4.  12652 Nizamuddin-Madurai Tamil Nadu Express diverted via
Tiruvottiyur,Perambur,Katpadi,Villupuram
 
Other trains:
1.  12610 Bangalore City – Chennai Central scheduled to arrive Chennai Central today terminated at Jolarpettai.
2.   12609 Chennai Central –Bangalore City Exp scheduled to leave Chennai Central at 13.35 of today will leave from Jolarpettai.
3.   12658 Bangalore City – Chennai Central Mail scheduled to arrive Chennai Central today terminated at Tiruvallur.
4.   12657 Chennai Central – Bangalore City Mail scheduled to leave Chennai Central at 23.15 hrs will leave from Tiruvallur.
5.   16090 Jolarpettai- Chennai Central exp scheduled to arrive Chennai Central today terminated at Arakkonam.
6.    16089 Chennai Central – Jolarpettai Exp scheduled to leave Chennai Central at 17.55 hrs will leave from Arakkonam today.
7.    12296 Patna – Bangalore Exp scheduled to leave Chennai Central today at 13.55 will be diverted via Tiruvottiyur and Perambur
8.    12897 Puducherry – Bhubaneswar scheduled to leave  Pondicherry on 02.12.2015 at 18.30 hrs  is rescheduled to 03.12.2015 at 18.30 hrs.
9.    16860 Mangalore – Chennai Egmore Exp Journey commenced on 02.12.2015 diverted via Erode, Salem,Jolarpatai ,Katpadi and will terminate at Chennai Central.
10.   12680 Coimbatore –Chennai Central Intercity Exp scheduled to arrive Chennai Central today is terminated at Jolarpattai.
11.  12679 Chennai Central –Coimbatore Intercity Exp schedule to leave Chennai Central at 14.30 hrs of today (02.12.2015) will leave from Jolarpattai.
 
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TN floods: Railway bridge in Chennai affected, suburban services likely to be affected

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The Southern Railway today said that the bridge on the Adayar between Saidapet and Guindy stations on the Chennai Beach--Tambaram section has been damaged due to the heavy flow of water in the river, resulting in the shifting of the girders on the up and down suburban lines.
 
A press release from the railway said that detailed inspection of the bridge, to assess its condition, could be undertaken only after the water recedes sufficiently.
 
"Therefore, suburban services are likely to remain affected," it added.
 
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TN floods: Southern Railway sets up helplines

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The Southern Railway has set up helplines in Chennai and other flood-affected areas of Tamil Nadu to provide information to passengers about the running of trains and related matters.
 
The following are the numbers:
 
Chennai Central: 044- 25330714
Chennai Egmore: 044- 28190216
Chennai Control Office: 044-29015204, 044-29015208
Madurai: 0452-2308250
Tiruchchirappalli: 0431-2418992, 90038 64971, 90038 64960
Thanjavur: 90030 33265, 04362-230131
Villupuram: 90038 64959
 
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Rains, floods bring normal life to standstill in Chennai, other parts of TN

Normal life in Chennai and several nearby districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has been disrupted because of floods caused by incessant rains for the past several days.

 
Heavy rains batter Chennai, rescue operations underway
 
Normal life in Chennai and several nearby districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has been disrupted because of floods caused by incessant rains for the past several days.
 
While the rains had halted this morning in Chennai and other areas, the situation remained grim with rivers, streams, lakes and drains overflowing.
 
Many areas in Chennai were waist-high water and thousands of people had been moved to safer locations, while many others had taken shelter on the roofs and terraces of their buildings.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy rains in the region for the next few days.
 
Army and Navy personnel joined teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state government agencies and voluntary agencies in rescuing the affected people in different parts of the city and other districts.
 
The Army has deployed three rescue and relief columns, comprising troops from the Garrison Infantry Battalion and Army's Engineer elements, in the flood-affected areas on the request of the Tamil Nadu government.
 
An official press release said two columns were pressed into service yesterday evening and had begun working in Tambaram, Mudichur, Manipakam, Guduvancheri and Urapakkam areas of Chennai.
 
Army personnel helping people stranded in the floods in Chennai on December 2, 2015.
 Army personnel helping people stranded in the floods in Chennai on December 2, 2015.
An Army column was able to rescue about 15 trapped civilians in a bus affected by flood waters. The rescue teams have till 1100 hours today succeeded in rescuing and bringing over 50 marooned civilians to safety in Gudvancheri and Mudichur. 
 
The third Army Rescue Column was effective from 1000 hours today, while a fourth column is being rushed in from Bangalore by road. 
 
Additional Army resources are being mobilized for providing assistance to flood affected areas, the release added.
 
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has positioned two Mi 17 helicopters at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, while two others are at Bangalore and Thanjavur.
 
As soon as the weather is fit for helicopter operations, these two helicopters will move to Chennai, from where they will be assisting the State Disaster Management authorities in their efforts to provide succour to the stranded population. 
 
Among other things, they will be used for aerial dropping of food packets, water and medicines and for evacuating stranded people.
 
One C-17 had taken off from Chandigarh via Bhubaneswar and landed at Tirupati with three teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF). 
 
One C-17 took off from Palam in Delhi with three teams of NDRF and one C-130 J has got airborne to Tambaram for reconnaissance and assessment of the flood affected areas. 
 
The airport in Chennai has shut down operations since yesterday and all flights to and from the city were cancelled.
 
The Southern Railway also cancelled several trains and diverted or rescheduled scores of others because of flooding on the tracks between Villupuram and Tambaram.
 
The Southern Railway also said this morning that suburban train services on the Chennai Beach-Tambaram had been cancelled from 0400 hours till noon, on the Chennai Central-Basin Bridge section from 0700 hours to 1000 hours, and the Chennai Central-Thiruvallur section between 0700 hours and 100 hours.
 
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The rains have also disrupted road traffic in many places and affected the working of offices, commercial establishments, schools and colleges, hotels and hospitals, among other facilities.
 
Roads were water-logged in many areas of the city and had caved in in some localities. Power supply was affected in many parts.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa chaired a meeting of the Council of Ministers and senior officials to review the rescue and relief operations. She told the officials to speed up their efforts.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ms. Jayalalithaa yesterday and assured her of all possible support and cooperation from the Centre.
 
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Modi speaks to Jayalalithaa on flood situation in Tamil Nadu

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on the flood situation in parts of the city following incessant rains over the past many days.
 
"Spoke to Jayalalithaa ji on the flood situation in parts of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible support and cooperation in this unfortunate hour," Mr. Modi said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
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Japan to provide assistance worth Rs. 5,536 crore for Chennai, Ahmedabad metro proejcts

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India and Japan today exchanged notes for Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) worth Rs. 5,536 crore for the Chennai Metro Rail Project (IV) and the Ahmedabad Metro Project.
 
The notes were exchanged here between Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India and Mr. Yutaka Kikuta, Charge d’ Affaires a.i., Embassy of Japan to India. 
 
The Government of Japan has committed Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of an amount of JPY 19.981 billion (approximately Rs.1080 crore) for the Chennai Metro Rail Project (IV) and JPY 82.434 billion (approximately Rs.4456 crore) for the Ahmedabad Metro Project. 
 
An official press release said India and Japan have had mutually beneficial economic development cooperation since 1958.
 
"In the last few years, the economic cooperation between India and Japan has strengthened and grown into strategic partnership. With general political consensus and popular support for the greater cooperation between India and Japan, the partnership is poised for a great future," it added.
 
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Central team to visit Tamil Nadu to make an assessment of flood situation

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A high-level Inter-Ministerial Central team led by Mr. T.V.S.N. Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs has been deputed for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the wake of the recent floods following heavy rains in Tamil Nadu. 
 
An official press release said the team would include representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, Rural Development, Drinking Water and Power from Delhi, representatives of Ministries of Road Transport and Highways and Health from Chennai and Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources from Bengaluru. 
 
The team has been deputed following a request from the State Government to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it said.
 
Earlier, the Prime Minister had, on Monday, instructed the release of financial assistance worth Rs. 939.63 crore immediately to Tamil Nadu to assist it in dealing with the situation arising from the floods caused by incessant rains.
 
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Centre sanctions over Rs. 939 crore as flood relief assistance to Tamil Nadu

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today instructed the Central Government to release financial assistance worth Rs 939.63 crore immediately to the Tamil Nadu government to assist it in deal with the situation arising from floods caused by the recent incessant rains in the state.
 
The fund was sanctioned in response to the request of the Government of Tamil Nadu, an official press release said here.
 
Meanwhile, a Central team is also being deputed to Tamil Nadu to assess the damages and further action will be taken after the team submits its report, it said.
 
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had sent a letter to Mr. Modi, enclosing a detailed memorandum on flood damages.
 
The letter was handed over to the Prime Minister's Office by a delegation led by Mr. S.T.K. Jakkayan, Special Representative of Tamil Nadu. 
 
The memorandum sought assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund and from other Central funds towards the cost ofimmediate relief and restoration works and the extensive damage suffered in the aftermath of extremely heavy rainfall in different
districts in Tamil Nadu this month.
 
A deep depression had formed in the Bay of Bengal and hit the Tamil Nadu coast near Marakkanam on November 10, causing extremely heavy rains, particularly in the four Northern coastal districts of Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai and Tiruvallur. 
 
Ms. Jayalalithaa said more than 4 lakh people were shifted to relief camps and provided food and shelter. Rescue and relief operations were undertaken on a war footing. 
 
"Despite all the efforts taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu, as the rainfall was extremely heavy and sustained for several days, it has left a trail of damage and destruction. To cite an example, at Neyveli, it rained 437 mm on 9.11.2015. Similarly, Chennai has received the second heaviest monthly rainfall recorded in the past more than 100 years in just the first 20 days of November.
 
"The rainfall continued for several days as the deep depression was followed by another low pressure system. Many parts of the State have been severely affected due to flooding. 169 lives were lost during this North East monsoon since 1.10.2015, and there was widespread damage to property including dwelling units and crops. Infrastructure, including roads and bridges, storm water drainage systems, water supply and sewerage systems and electricity supply systems have been battered in many areas.
 
"To meet the immediate expenditure on relief and restoration operations, I had sanctioned a sum of Rs.500 crores. However, the assessment of damages and requirement of funds for immediate relief and restoration of infrastructure which has been speedily carried out, indicates a much higher financial requirement. The requirement of funds for immediate rescue and relief and the temporary and permanent restoration of infrastructure has been worked out at Rs.8,481 crores in all.
 
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"This assessment has been made as an immediate measure since the Government of Tamil Nadu requires assistance from the Government of India to meet the very high expenditure requirements that such a severe calamity has caused. The funds required are well beyond the resources available with the State including the State Disaster Response Fund. Although I am aware that the extent of damage is still unfolding and we have many weeks left in the North East Monsoon period, during which more weather systems are expected to develop which could cause further damage, I have directed the officials to prepare this Memorandum so that the financial assistance which is immediately required could be expeditiously secured from the Government of India.
 
"Keeping in view the urgency of restoring many of the infrastructure facilities and services to the flood affected people in the State and to support the Government of Tamil Nadu financially, as it is taking up massive scale relief operations, I request you to kindly depute a Central team immediately to make its on-the-spot assessment of damages and to release central financial assistance without any delay. In the meanwhile, I request that an on account release of Rs.2,000 crores may be sanctioned immediately to enable the State Government to sustain the relief and restoration operations with the same vigour," she added.
 
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IMD warns of more rains in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday

Even as an incessant downpour has disrupted normal life in Chenai and many other parts of Tamil Nadu and claimed more than 70 lives during the past week in the state, the IMD has warned of heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema on Tuesday also.

 
Train services disrupted in Chennai following deluge
 
Even as an incessant downpour has disrupted normal life in Chenai and many other parts of Tamil Nadu and claimed more than 70 lives during the past week in the state, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema today also.
 
An official press release in New Delhi said the low pressure area now centred over southwest Bay of Bengal adjoining north Tamilnadu-south Andhra Pradesh coasts was continuing to cause heavy to very heavy rain in Tamil Nadu and at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, and south interior Karnataka today.
 
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off the north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
Strong winds, with speed reaching 35-­45 kmph, gusting to 55 kmph, would prevail along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts today, it said.
 
The IMD also said heavy rains were likely tomorrow at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
 
Heavy to very heavy rains are expected for the next two days also at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh, it added.
 
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The incessant rains have delayed trains running through the state and forced the Railways to cancel some services and reschedule or divert others.
 
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed at various places in the state where water-logging has occurred. The state government has set up relief camps at many places and is distributing food packets to the affected people. Boats were used at some places to move people to safer locations.
 
Schools and colleges have been shut down in many parts of the state.
 
Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, who toured some of the affected areas in the city, has announced Rs. 500 crore for relief and rehabilitation activities.
 
The Tamil Nadu government sought the help of the Army yesterday in the relief oprations and a flood relief column, with six  Boat Assault Universal Type (BAUTS) and two Out Board Motors (OBM), was activated and deployed by 2115 hours from the Garrison Infantry Battalion located at Chennai. 
 
At 0600 hours today, a second column was deployed, the Ministry of Defence said.
 
Both columns carried out relief operations at Tambaram and Mudichur areas in Chennai. Till 1600 hours today, they had rescued approximately 882 civilians and distributed 350 food packets and water bottles. In addition, a medical team has provided first aid and medical assistance to about 200 persons. 
 
Assistance was also provided to two civil hospitals (Miot and Global Hospital) for shifting of patients. 
 
The Indian Air Force has also deployed helicopters for the rescue and relief efforts in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
 
They evacuated people from the affected areas and also air-dropped relief material, including food and water.
 
The helicopters include one Mi-17 V5, two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and two Cheetahs.
 
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Heavy rains likely over south coastal AP, Rayalaseema, TN, Puducherry, Kerala over next four days

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said a low pressure area was expected to form over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood by tomorrow and heavy rains were likely at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala today. 
 
An official press release said heavy rains would occur tomorrow at isolated places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
 
Heavy to very heavy rains are expected on Sunday at a few places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and heavy rains at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. 
 
The IMD said that heavy to very heavy rains would occur at a few places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Monday, with extremely heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places are also expected over coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rains over Rayalaseema, south interior Karnataka and Kerala, it said.
 
On November 17, too, heavy to very heavy rain could occur at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh, with extremely heavy falls at isolated places, it said.
 
Heavy to very heavy rains are expected at isolated places over Rayalaseema and heavy rains over south interior Karnataka and Kerala, the release added.
 
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Navy’s long range maritime patrol aircraft Boeing P-8I dedicated to nation

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Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar dedicated the Boeing P-8I (Poseidon 8 India), the Navy's long-range maritime patrol aircraft, to the nation at a ceremony at INS Rajali at Arakkonam near Chennai this morning.
 
The ceremony was attended by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan, and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Satish Soni, among others.
 
Mr. Parrikar, who flew in to INS Rajali on board a Boeing P-8I from Port Blair this morning, described the aircraft as one of the best for surveillance in the world today. 
 
During the flight, he was briefed about the various sensors and other sophisticated state-of-the-art equipment and their capabilities. He said the aircraft would provide the Indian Navy the necessary reach and flexibility to undertake extensive surveillance as also to respond swiftly and effectively to contingencies in its areas of interest. 
 
The Minister complimented the Navy and its air arm for expeditiously inducting and operationalising this force multiplier, which would enable the nation’s Armed Forces to dominate the future battle space. 
 
Taking note of the efforts put in by INS Rajali and its personnel, he  praised the fact that, even in the short phase of trials and testing, the P-8I aircraft had achieved a number of operational milestones which includes participation in the search effort for Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370, the first successful firing of air launched Harpoon Block II missile in the world, torpedo firing and active participation in major naval exercises. 
 
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The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet. Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft with the conclusion of the nearly $ 2.1 billion contract on January 1, 2009 for a total of eight aircraft. The first aircraft arrived in India on May 15, 2013 and as of date all eight aircraft have been inducted into the Indian Navy and are fully integrated into its operations. 
 
The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations. Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment developed by defence PSUs and private manufacturers. With its high speed and high endurance of about 10 hours, the aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest. 
 
The aircraft are based at INS Rajali, and are operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A under the command of Commander Venkateshwaran Ranganathan. 
 
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Deep depresession over Bay of Bengal to cross TN coast on Monday afternoon: IMD

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The deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal was expected to cross the north Tamil Nadu coast, to the south of Puducherry, close to Cuddalore, around noon today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at noon today said the deep depression had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of today near latitude 11.6°N and longitude 80.3°E, about 60 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 150 km southeast of Chennai. 
 
"It would move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil  Nadu coast to the south of Puducherry, close to Cuddalore around noon of today, the 9 th November," it said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall would occur at most places over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more).
 
It said rainfall would occur at many places over south Tamil Nadu, Rayalseema and south coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, and over coastal  coastal and south interior Karnataka and Kerala during the next 48 hours.
 
Squally wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
The bulletin said the state of sea would be very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into sea along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hours.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to intensify, cross TN coast on Nov 9

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A depression over southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Karaikal and Chennai, close to Puducherry, around November 9 night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
In a pre-cyclone watch for north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts issued tonight, the IMD said the depression had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 15 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1730 hours IST of today near latitude 11.2° N and longitude 82.5° E, about 320 km southeast of Chennai, 300 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 320 km east-northeast of Jaffna (Sri Lanka). 
 
"It would move west-northwestwards, intensify into a deep depression during next 12 hours and subsequently into a cyclonic storm. It would cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Karaikal and Chennai close to Puducherry around 9th night," the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall would occur at most places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and north Tamil Nadu andPuducherry during the subsequent 36 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more).
 
It said rainfall would occur at many places, with isolated heavy falls, over south and north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours and over south Tamil Nadu, Rayalseema, south coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka and Kerala during the subsequent 24 hours.
 
The IMD said squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 24 hrs. It would increase gradually, becoming 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph, along and off above coasts from tomorrow afternoon.
 
The state of sea would be rough to very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
The bulletin advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of south Tamil Nadu coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
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NHAI allows 100% divestment in 4-laning project of Ulundurpet–Padalur section of NH-45 in TN

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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has allowed 100% divestment of shareholding of the concessionaire of the four-laning project of the Ulundurpet – Padalur section of national highway (NH)-45 in Tamil Nadu. 
 
This is the first initiative of its kind in which the existing shareholders IJM Trichy (Mauritius) Limited and Shapoorji Pallonji have been permitted to divest their equity in favour of Macquire SBI Infrastructure Investments Pvt. Ltd. and SBI Infrastructure Trust Roads Pvt. Ltd, an official press release said.
 
In order to unlock the capital stuck in the highway sector, the Government had recently permitted 100 per cent equity divestment after two years of completion for all BOT projects. This move was aimed at fast-tracking contracts and implementation of more highway projects in the country by making additional funds available for investment. 
 
The release said the NHAI decision would allow highway developers to invest proceeds from the sale of divested equity in incomplete projects or to retire their debt to financial institutions. 
 
"This will result in physical completion of languishing infrastructure projects. It is expected that large number of developers are likely to be benefited by this opportunity for circulation of funds in infrastructure sector," the release added.
 
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39 injured as four coaches of Chennai-Mangalore Express derail in Tamil Nadu

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At least 35 people suffered injuries when four coaches of the 16859 Chennai-Mangalore Express derailed near Viruthachalam in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of today.
 
Southern Railway officials told NetIndian that one of the injured was in a serious condition while three others with simple injuries were being treated at a nearby hospital. The 35 others had been discharged after first aid, they said.
 
They said the mishap occurred around 2.30 am today at a spot about 250 km from Chennai.
 
The Southern Railway has set up a helpline 044 290 15203 at Egmore station in Chennai, from where the train had originated.
 
The remaining coaches of the train left on its onward journey at 0725 hours, the officials added.
 
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SriLankan Airlines adds three new frequencies from Chennai to Colombo

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SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, in a time span of four months, has added three new frequencies to Colombo from Chennai, one of its fastest growing markets.
 
A press release from the airline said enhancing the number of flights was aimed at capitalising the increase in passenger traffic from this region. 
 
The additional frequencies have started operating from August 16 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 11:05 hrs. The addition of this flight brings the total frequency of flights between Sri Lanka and India to 89 flights per week. 
 
"This announcement reinforces the significance of the Indian market for SriLankan Airlines, especially Chennai," the release said.
 
Regional Manager for India, Lalith De Silva said, “Last year we had over 225,000 arrivals on SriLankan Airlines from Chennai to Colombo. It is certain that Chennai is our fastest growing market in Southern India. We see the market as a growing and crucial business hub for multi-nationals. The addition in flights is a result of growing passenger traffic from this region.”
 
The airlines’ hub is located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, providing convenient connections to its global route network of 95 destinations in 44 countries (including code-share operations) in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America, Australia and Africa.
 
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