The aftermath of devastating rain in Chennai!
The immediate problems of Chennai city!
None can prevent natural calamities from occurring. We may attribute many reasons for flooding and other natural disasters. We are all ill prepared to face and manage nature’s fury that submerges a city completely, cutting off the vital links. You don’t get water, milk or eatables since all the shops are shut. Communication has failed since the mobile towers are submerged at the base station level, unable to start the generators or inverters. The government, citing safety reasons cut off the electricity. You are under knee deep water inside your house without any light for the nights. Nowhere to ease oneself, since the toilets and bathrooms are fully under water. The roads are flooded to three feet deep. You are unable to venture out since there may be deep holes somewhere. You may not be able to locate the manhole covers on the road. It is not clear whether the covers are intact or not. No communication to any and there is no way to know whether your near and dear in the same city are safe.
This was the condition of great city Chennai for the past one week and slowly the citizens are coming to terms with the harsh realities of life. Neither the government could reach out to all those affected or offer the immediate assistance since the entire city was reeling under water with failed communication networks. Small groups of Samaritans gathered their wits and started working in small ways to offer the barest survival kits containing food, water and milk which may last for a day. There were many children, many new born one requiring constant attention. There were many pregnant ladies who needed immediate medical assistance in the worst affected areas of Chennai. In such a situation, the Army, Navy and Air force flew air sorties to rescue the stranded on the terraces and supply food and water etc. But how long they will maintain the supply line? In spite of all the helps, several areas are still inundated and there is no sign of water receding. All the outlets have been encroached by shops, houses and flats. People elsewhere started offering prayers for abutment of further rain or floods. All the reservoirs were filled until the brim and to prevent further tragedy, small amount of water is let out.
Now that the train and bus services resumed, the greatest problem facing the corporation is removal of sludge and debris in each street. The floods have dumped all the contents of each house to the road. Even there is no count of people missing from each locality. Already surfacing is many bodies in some houses. This creates a multiple problem. Now the health department is engrossed with prevention of epidemics in the city since the entire water surrounding each house is a mixture of rainwater, sewage water. The Corporation authorities are engaged in draining the collected water through some means. It may take minimum two months to clean the city of debris and spraying DDT. Even a sincere government will find it a monumental task. Now another election is approaching in another five months. Hence it is natural for any political party to gain through the pathetic flood. The government should not succumb to the plan to woe to voters. Instead they should form teams to rescue the city from the mess. People are worried about survival. Many have lost their livelihood, hard earned goods for running family. Many have lost their certificates, important house documents, their ration cards and other identities. The students are worst affected. They have lost precious days due to floods. Even now, many schools are in knee deep water. Parents will find it difficult to send their wards to schools now. Hence the government has to take many innovative steps to safe guard the interests of school going children.
Medical camps must be run in each locality continuously till all garbage is removed safely from the dwelling areas. Everyone in the flood has lost something in these devastating floods. Small shops have shut down since they lost all they earned and stored. They have to start afresh. Banks should offer loan to such people without harsh conditions. People should be allowed to find their feet after this tragedy. The missing people should be accounted for since many legal complications will arise if they are found dead! May God give sufficient strength to the people of Chennai to rise once again like the bird from ash!