What has been happening to the city of Chennai from past 2 weeks? Yes, as we all know Chennai has been the victim of an incessant downpour which led to a monstrous flood taking lives of around 280 people and leaving hundreds of thousands strangled in distress. Though it is a hard fact to believe but the whole city of Chennai was blacked out for almost a week. There was no power, no phone signals, no source of communication, no safety measures, no food, in short the city lost contact with the rest of the world.
Hundreds of lives taken, thousands have rendered homeless; Rail and road links destroyed and airports shut; the crisis is far from over for Chennai.
Even as a city it braces to deal with the worse flood situation of the decades, one wonders why Chennai has turned into waterbed??
Well, the reasons behind this disaster are both natural and man-made –
Exceptionally strong El Nino (unusual warming of surface waters) in the equatorial ocean has to be blamed. Experts believe that it could turn out to be the strongest ever recorded. El Nino together with strong air divergence and high moisture contents at lower levels has affected the winter monsoons tremendously.
But the reasons for catastrophic flooding lie beyond –
Excessive rains forced authorities to release a massive 30,000 cusecs of water from Chembarambakkam dam into the Adyar river over 2 days causing it flood its banks and submerged neighborhoods on both sides.
Mindless urban planning of the city over the last two decades has made the situation worse and the top reasons for this are
1. Illegal construction
Approximately, over 1.5 lakh illegal structures in the city are responsible for the disappearance of over 300 water bodies, proclaims a report submitted by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) to the Madras High Court.
2. Chocking of water exits
Low lands have been filled and the concept of storm water drainage has been abandoned, which was the fundamental instrument of flood fighting.
3. Badly planned or unimplemented projects
Ironically, neighborhood’s expensive storm water projects are also under water. Experts say that most of these projects have been executed without incorporating crucial data about the topography of the plot character and the size.
One hand are these badly planned projects, the other hand are those that haven’t seen the light of the day such as ‘Early warning system’ and ‘Laser terrain maps’
While the chief minister of Tamilnadu J.Jayalalitha said during the earlier phase of heavy rainfall last month that the damage caused by the monsoons are inevitable but the facts suggest that this disaster is manmade
We hope to not witness the day when man himself destroys the whole mankind!