Schools and colleges reopen in Chennai

Jayalalithaa wants govt to postpone civil services exams

GN Bureau | December 14, 2015



Schools and colleges in Chennai, that remained closed for almost a month due to devastating rain and flooding in the city, have reopened today.

The holidays were repeatedly extended as precautionary measure following incessant rain and two spells of floods.

To compensate for the loss of working days, many schools are planning to extend timings and run classes on Saturdays.

"Extra classes will help cover syllabus for exams that had to be postponed. But we will make sure we don't pressure the students," said Principal of Akshayah Global School in Velachery, one of the worst-hit areas.

While most schools began functioning from today, 29 institutions that were damaged in the flooding will reopen later.

The government has said it will distribute free books and notebooks and uniform to students.

Since October 1, over 350 people have died and 17.64 lakh people have become homeless as the worst rain in nearly a century battered Tamil Nadu.

Essential commodities took a hit while educational institutions were closed particularly those in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Cuddalore districts.

As there has been dry weather over last few days and normal life is getting back to normal.

However, chief minister Jayalalithaa has requested prime minister Narendra Modi to postpone the civil services examinations scheduled from December 18 to 23 for at least for two months to enable the students from Tamil Nadu to take up the examinations with “adequate preparation”.

Meanwhile, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu met  Jayalalithaa and other state ministers and senior officials at the secretariat on Sunday morning. He discussed flood relief measures and other key issues with them.

After the meeting, which lasted around 40 minutes, Naidu told reporters that all states should "learn lessons from this tragedy."

States should undertake measures on war footing to remove encroachments, widen water bodies and reservoirs, strengthen bunds and maintain a 'green belt' of 5-30 metres on riverbanks, to safeguard against flooding, he said.

Earlier, Naidu visited flood-hit areas like Tambaram, Velachery and Ekkaduthangal and interacted with residents.

According to an official release, Jayalalithaa has requested the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation to provide assistance by way of a special grant for a Rs 5,000-crore housing project planned by the state government.

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