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Ola launches boat service in flood-stricken Chennai

Indian online taxi aggregator Ola has today announced that it has deployed boats in waterlogged and partially submerged areas in Chennai. Relentless heavy rains resulted in water logging in significant portions of the city.

The boats will also be used to provide food and drinking water in specific areas which are reportedly short of basic supplies. Both ferrying services and supplies will be offered free of cost to citizens, it said. The boats have been floated in five parts of the city.

Each boat will be manned by two rowers and can ferry anywhere between five to nine people in a single attempt. The company is also providing rain gear to all rowers, which will help them ferry people without any hassles. In order to guard customers against rain, Ola has also stocked umbrellas in every boat. Details of the rowers and fishermen were provided to Ola by local firemen and the Chennai Sports Fishing Company.

Ola announces boat service in rain battered Chennai

Ravi Teja, business head of Tamil Nadu at Ola said: “Thousands of citizens have been stranded and are suffering due to heavy rains and water logging in Chennai. While we are addressing the increased demand for transportation in the city through the Ola app, we are working closely with local stakeholders to help ferry those stranded in waterlogged areas.”

The company said that the services will be available over the next three days and might get extended if water-logging continues in the city.
(This article first appeared on Business Standard)