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Stranded passengers airlifted from Chennai arrived at AFS Begumpet, Hyderabad.Twitter/PIB India

In view of the grim situation prevailing as a result of heavy downpour in Chennai and other areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Union Transport Ministry has said it won't collect toll charges on national highways (NHs) till 11 December.

"The move is aimed at facilitating rescue and relief operations being undertaken by various central and state agencies, (sic)" tweeted Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.

The southern zone of Indian Railways said though the Chennai-Villupuram and Chennai-Gudur sections have been badly affected because of overflowing of water on railway tracks due to heavy rains resulting in cancellation and diversion of many trains,  it is running minimum services in the following sections:

Chennai Beach – Tiruvallur – Arakkonam - Tiruttani

Ennore – Gummidipoondi

Chennai Beach – Velacherry MRTS services.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu was supervising the situation, besides instructing his officials to take appropriate measures to ensure minimum inconvenience and basic facilities to the affected passengers.

Meanwhile, 99 passengers stranded in Chennai were airlifted to Air Force Station in Begumpet in Hyderabad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after conducting an aerial survey of the flood affected areas on 3 December, announced a relief of Rs 1,000 crore, in addition to Rs 940 crore announced last month.

After rainfall, it was windfall for Tamil Nadu as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced immediate relief to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore after conducting an aerial survey of the affected areas on Thursday.

The Army in a statement said 40 rescue and relief teams and five teams of engineers were carrying out operations in badly affected areas of Chennai.

These teams were operating in Tambaram, Mudichur, Kothurpuram, Pallavaram, Thiruneermalai, Urapakkam, Manipakkam, T Nagar and Gudvancheri towards the outskirts of Chennai, and along areas adjacent to the Adyar river.

The teams have successfully rescued over 4,000 stranded people, said the statement issued by Col Rohan Anand, PRO (Army).

The toll as a result of the recent rains stands at 269 in Tamil Nadu and two in Puducherry.

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