Chennai Floods Move Ola To Run Free Boat Service

17/11/2015 3:45 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Taxi aggregator, Ola's cabs may no longer be running in Chennai but a fleet of boats has been pressed into service by the company, that comes equipped with food and drink and is free of cost. Presumably one doesn't need an app to hail these ferries.

Ola said in a statement that professional rowers were manning these boats to transport people in the waterlogged areas and that their services would be available as long the streets continued to be substantially submerged. The company has collaborated with the Tamil Nadu Fire Services Department for the personnel.

“Ola deployed boats in waterlogged and partially submerged areas on the basis of information from the Fire and Rescue department”, said the company.

The boats were equipped with two rowers and umbrellas and could ferry between five to nine people in a trip.

“While we are addressing the increased demand for transportation in city, we are working closely with local stakeholders to help ferry those stranded in water-logged areas”, Ola, Business Head (Tamil Nadu), Ravi Teja told the Hindu Business Line.

The northeast monsoon continued to wreak havoc in Tamil Nadu with rains pounding the northern coastal districts and more being forecast for the coming days in the state, where the death toll has climbed to at least 71.

Subways at central city centres such as T Nagar and Saidapet in the city were inundated, resulting in their closure. The district administration had declared a holiday for schools and colleges in the wake of the heavy downpour that had severely affected roads. The well-marked low pressure over Southwest Bay of Bengal off Tamil Nadu, which had brought incessant rains, is likely to move north-westwards towards north Tamil Nadu coast and could concentrate into a depression during next 24 hours, the weather office said.

With inputs from PTI

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