What exactly went wrong? #ChennaiFloods
Based on the Koppen climate classification most parts of Tamil Nadu falls under the tropical savanna climate. Being the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is heavily dependent on monsoon rains. Since the district is mostly dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought. The normal annual rainfall of Chennai is about 649.3 mm but the actual rainfall between October – December is 1487.7 mm which is whooping 129% more rainfall this year. (Source: IMDChennai). But don’t think this much damage is only because of heavy rain. Everyone should accept this is a manmade disaster. Here are some of my thoughts about what exactly went wrong.
Lack of infrastructure:
Water-logged roads, sewerage lines mixing with the drinking water and lakes breaching their banks are the problems that Chennai faces every rainy season, and this time it just went to the worst level. Each and everyone in the city knew Chennai is not having an adequate infrastructure to drain the rainwater. The root cause of this problem is building violations, illegal connections of drainage lines with rain water drains. Especially the real estate mafia who invaded most of the ponds, marshes, lakes and other water reservoirs in and around Chennai. I have personally seen Medavakkam, will have always water stagnation in the empty plots even in the scorching summer months of April and May. It is situated next to a marshland called Pallikarani, a decade back it was widespread around 50 Sq.km and it’s reduced to one tenth of its size now. 90% of the marshland is lost to construction of IT companies, gated community, garbage dump, sewage treatment plant, etc.
Chennai is not new for cyclones and also this rainy season has started from Diwali. Most of the water reservoirs in and around Chennai were almost reached its full capacity. When you received the highest rainfall in the past 100 years the huge amount of water released as precaution from the water reservoirs started flooding all these residential areas. City’s municipality says 150,000 illegal structures are in the city. More than 300 tanks, canals and lakes have disappeared.
Adyar River is another example of uncontrolled and unchecked encroachments. Adyar River originating near the Chembarambakkam Lake in Kanchipuram district, which is one of the major water bodies who supplies drinking water for Chennai. The worst-affected areas like Mudichur, Ekkatuthangal, Kotturpuram, Jafferkhanpet, Saidapet and Nandanam are adjacent towards the river. The river receives huge quantity of sewage from all these above places. Most of the time this river will be stagnant expect the rainy season. In 2012, the state government allotted ₹ 3,000 million towards construction of 337 sewage cleaning systems in the waterways in the city, including 49 locations in the Adyar River. Others include 105 points in Cooum River and 183 locations in the Buckingham Canal. But how much of work is done and how much the government spends is still a mystery and god only knows.
Lack of pre-planning:
Even though Meteorological department keep on telling about the excess rainfall this year, Chennai Corporation told that they very well prepared for any kind of situation. An higher official told that on or before every monsoon season Chennai corporation use to conduct a meet with all the major department heads about the precautionary measures during the rainy season. I don’t think they would have done that in a proper way this time. At many places, the army was not given proper guidance by civic authorities. If you think by using your common sense, the state government should guide the NDRF and IAF in operation; they are not localities who knew each nuke and corner of the city which actually delayed the rescue operations.
Lack of Concern:
Even the Indian startup firms like Zomato, Paytm, Ola, Practo are initiated their immediate relief measures in Chennai, we haven’t seen any party members including AIADMK, DMK, PMK, DMDK and any other jumbled alphabet parties for the first 3 days. How much Paytm would have earned through my recharges? And how much Zomato would have got benefited from my restaurant reviews? Answer is nothing when it compares with the corruption in Tamil Nadu. But they showed us the basic courtesy on that time for its customers is immense. Ordinary citizens and volunteers from various districts collected relief materials and distributed them to the needed people. If you don’t like to show some basic courtesy, we are so glad. We will take this as a lesson for voting you all, please don’t do any branding activities by putting photos of your idols on the relief materials which was actually served by the volunteers.
Nature showed what exactly a city like Chennai needs which has a huge population and also the real colors of all political parties, so as a ruling party AIADMK enjoy your remaining honeymoon period and DMK nobody is ready to believe you again, don’t think we are still in the same old 2G and for your information now we are at 4G. Each and every government official of Chennai please ensures 3 things good infrastructure, smart traffic control, and save rivers/water bodies. Also as an individual let’s Live Environmentally Friendly.