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Escape from Chennai

Escape from Chennai
Highlights

“Railway tracks were inundated; I somehow managed to reach St Thomas Mout via Meenambakkam and Parvathangal. At Mount, I got into a boat reached Gunidy from there I headed to Phoenix Mall as the word was out that they were sheltering the people. I took a couple of hours of rest and planned for my escape,”

“Railway tracks were inundated; I somehow managed to reach St Thomas Mout via Meenambakkam and Parvathangal. At Mount, I got into a boat reached Gunidy from there I headed to Phoenix Mall as the word was out that they were sheltering the people. I took a couple of hours of rest and planned for my escape,”

“It was like being stranded at a secluded place even though there are hordes of people around. It was chaos all round with people neck deep in water. Though there were good Samaritans, many tried to make a quick buck. Food and drinking water prices skyrocketed, transportation came to a standstill, a kilometer of auto rickshaw ride cost Rs 3,000; it was in short a living hell,” 17-year-old Apoorv Nair – a native of the city, painfully recalls his gargantuan efforts to escape from the rain devastated, water logged Chennai.

Sharing his painstaking adventure to escape from Chennai, the engineering student admits that he could only heave a sigh of relief, after the bus entered AP border. “It was a terrifying experience. As the days past by I lost all the hope and I still can’t believe that I have escaped from Chennai,” Apoorv shares with tears in his eyes.

Apoorv Nair, a first year engineering student at SRM University, who reached city on Saturday, says that his adventure started, when it was raining cats and dogs and not all areas were submerged. “On December 1 by 6 am, the campus including the hostel has been inundated. Water is till the knee, holidays were declared till January 7 and examinations were cancelled. I and my fried tried to escape, the inundated campus, we have reached to a relatively less submerged area with the help of ropes and got into an auto, by the time we reached the local station, the train left. We managed to catch the next train and reached Urumpakkam, by that time we were neck deep in water. My friend gave up but I didn’t relent,” he adds.

“I walked along the track to reach Tambaram station. I managed to reach my father over phone, who booked an accommodation in a hotel near the station. At the station I got hold of food and water packets that were distributed by the police, the packets helped me to survive for two days. I got my first shock, when the hotel management denied accommodation, even though payment was made in full, they demanded a whooping Rs 10,000 extra for accommodation and mercilessly rejected my request to take shelter in the lobby,” he recounts.

Narrating about the looting of hapless, Apoorv shares, “I had decided to catch a flight to either Hyderabad or Vijayawada and hired and auto. The driver charged a humongous Rs 2,000 for one way ride to airport, which on normal day wouldn’t even coast one-fourth. As my ill luck would have it, all flights were cancelled and I barely made it back to Trisulam, but couldn’t get any accommodation.”

Narrating the level of floods, “Railway tracks were inundated; I somehow managed to reach St Thomas Mout via Meenambakkam and Parvathangal. At Mount, I got into a boat reached Gunidy from there I headed to Phoenix Mall as the word was out that they were sheltering the people. I took a couple of hours of rest and planned for my escape,” he recounts.

Recalling the foiled attempts to get onto a train, “I booked a ticket to Vijayawada from Egmore Station and left via auto. The driver dropped at Chennai Central. I had to walk all the way to Egmore and by the time I reached the station, police started evacuating the people. Needless to say, there was a mad rush at the station where food and water is being supplied,” he shares.

“I reached Koyambedu and was lucky enough to get shelter at a hotel, which took in the hapless at free of cost. I stayed there over night and in the next morning, found fellow inmates of hostel at Koyambedu Bus Station. We tried to book a taxi to Tirupati but the driver charged a gargantuan Rs 30,000. Meanwhile, my father spoke to his friends and got in touch with a city-based travel company, which is running buses from Chennai to Vijayawada. On the way to Coimbatore, in a local bus, I got down at Salem and boarded bus in the evening of December 3 and after about 40 hours, I could breathe,” signs of Apoorv with a sigh of relief.

Ch Soumya Sruthi
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