Rain Rain, Go Away- A Chennai resident!
The ocean in streets!
The woes of torrential rain in Chennai and Tamilnadu!
It was some hundred years back, the great city Chennai was battered with rain, submerging most of the parts. Now after one hundred year, Chennai was deluged by copious and continuous rain surpassing the previous record. All the rivers surrounding Chennai and entire Tamilnadu were in spates for the past few days. The reservoirs supplying drinking water were brimming with water with more and more inputs due to rain. To prevent damages to the bunds and dams, water was let out of all the reservoirs supplementing the deluge. Initially 500 cusecs were let out. Now due to constant inflow, 25000 cusecs are let out. The capacity of channels built some one hundred years ago could not cope up with the pressure of water. Naturally, it inundated the entire habitations of Chennai. Now the great question is ‘Who is to be blamed for this tragedy’?
Environmentalists point out to the mushrooming of housing plots on the tank beds which were dry for many years due to poor rainfall. Politicians connived with the builders turned a blind eye to this gross violation of rules. Nor the town planning authorities bothered about it, so long as they get hefty commissions from the builders. Over the years more than one hundred tank beds were lost or their area reduced due to housing plots. Now every political party is making a hue and cry that the government has not woken up to the sad spectacle. Neither the periodical maintenance of storm water drains that drain the rain water was taken up in time. The result is visible everywhere. All the roads in Chennai and other districts of Tamilnadu are under knee deep water and there is stagnation everywhere since the water could not go anywhere. Adding to this situation, discharge from tanks increased abruptly drowning all the ground floor flats and those who had access to higher floors took shelter in higher floor verandas, salvaging whatever they could put their hands in.
Well, the condition in rural side is very pathetic. The poor people lost their huts and few belongings stranded in waist deep water everywhere. None of the government authorities visited their area, nor cared to evacuate them, provide them with food, clothing and bed as an immediate measure. Caught in between are women and babies who needed sustenance. The government woke up late and now they are hurrying officials to each area. Still there are many marooned areas within the state. The meteorological department has warned further rains for another three days. The Central government woke up to the fact after a full week. Probably they waited for distress calls. In the age of Internet and TV broadcasts, no politician worth his salt will close his eyes to the catastrophe within India in the Southern State. Since the Parliament is in session, the MPs from Tamilnadu made hue and cry in the floor of the house. Now the Central Government took notice and hurriedly sanctioned a meager 950 crores as an initial grant. The entire crops raised by the riots were submerged in rain. Their entire effort and investment has gone waste. Now all the politicians and rich people in Tamilnadu are playing politics at the sufferings of common man. Each major party is blaming the other party for the mishap.
Of rouse, the rescue and relief operations may take a month in the modest estimate. The roads recently laid bore the brunt of weather. They have to be re-laid. The different infrastructures like electricity, water and drainage requires major repairs. With the resource constraints and uncaring attitude of civil servants, the blame game by politicians, the media depicting the sad scenes will not solve any problem. Those who are wealthy can extend an helping hand to those affected in slums and huts. Medical teams should rush to the low lying areas to attend the needy. All precautionary measures to avoid breaking up of epidemics must be taken at war footing. The impending elections in 2016 are a good chance to prove to the public that the parties and politicians really care for the citizens, especially the poor. The government must ensure that none is left unattended in these grievous situations. First priority is to drain the stagnated water through motors and pumps. Ensure availability of food, drinking water, medicines, clothing and provisions. The NGOs must join hands with government authorities to ensure quick supply of basic necessities in the remote areas.
Above all, let us sincerely pray God for abutment of rains at least till rehabilitations works are carried out. Already 189 lives have lost in rain related tragedies in Tamilnadu!