UNPRECEDENTED DELUGE IN CHENNAI (TAMIL NADU) – A NATIONAL TRAGEDY
According to the Vedic scriptures, all forms of sufferings are results of our own karma, our own choices of right or wrong actions. We may wonder: what wrong choices have we made to warrant so many natural calamities as reactions’ It is all due to our Karma.
It may be in North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir, or now in Chenai (Tamil Nadu) such a deluge of this dimension has occurred after about 114 years or tsunami which occurred in 2004 all these natural disasters occur because of our own omissions and commissions. We disturb the balance of Nature by our own actions. It is self-evident that earth’s climate change occurs when it gets more or less heat from the Sun due to shifts in its orbits in relation to Sun. But in the past century there are manmade factors responsible for climatic change like emission of green house gases due to burning of fossil fuel (carbon emissions) including burning of coal etc in the atmosphere responsible for the change in climate. Since the last century, the temperature of this planet has more than doubled causing disturbances of highest proportion. Recently a concern has been expressed in Paris Paris Climate Change Conference. The goal set has been for keeping global warming below 2°C and for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2020 at the latest. This is quite ambitious at its face value but it has to be achieved in letter and spirit by all countries.
Heavy rains lashed the southern Indian city of Chennai on Monday and Tuesday, causing widespread flooding in the major metropolis for the second time in less than a month. Authorities concerned issued an early flood warning and educational institutions were closed. The continuation of incessant rains in Chennai is indeed having compounding the problems / having a telling affect on the lives and property of people. This intensity of rain has occurred after more than 114 years and the resultant deluge has really made the life standstill. A 10-15’ deep flood water in some places speaks volumes about the condition of the general people with special reference of the people who are residing in low lying areas.
This rains and resultant floods of disproportionate proportion has also tested provision of essentials like; necessary civic facilities drainage / sewerage system and other essential services like medical services, communication system, availability of power supply, drinking water and food requirements, accommodation for marooned people with requisite facilities etc. Although all the contingencies could not be met because of degree of deluge and continuation of rain has made matter worst yet effort is being made to provide the essentials for sustenance to tide over the situation.
Chennai airport is inundated and hence shut and naval air station Arakkonam is functioning as a makeshift airport due to water logging and thousands of passengers are stranded. Even Indian Oil Corporation has shut its Refinery due to flooding, 15 people died in a hospital ICU ward due to flooding of ICU ward due to falling of boundary wall.
ASSISTANCE FOR MAROONED PEOPLE
The spirit of Chennai people is really a bright spot despite hard time. They are found to rendering help to their brethren in distress. Chennai gets record 114 years breaking rains due to which more than 200 people have died. Thousands have been stranded, the city has been under water, residential areas completely submerged due to which over 7 million people have been hit. For these 72,000 relief camps are established. Army, AF and Navy are providing succor to the flood hit people. Adequate number of NDRF teams are working round the clock and undertaking gigantic rescue work – 10,000 persons rescued by the team of NDRF personnel.
Central government has extended all sorts of assistance required – monetarily or provision of rescue teams Army, Air Force, NDNF, Railways, Indian Airlines. Prime Minister has assured the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu of more succor so that TN comes out of this natural tragedy. Railways will go all out in repairing tracks but tracks being submerged, their task is made all the more difficult.
Community kitchen centre has been established opened by the joint efforts of NGOs and general public have chipped in a big way for the provision of food items to the flood hit people. Food distribution system through vans is functioning adequately.
Even 35 canines have not been unaffected from the flood fury. Thse dogs have been shifted to Bengaluru.
More than 1.64 lakh people have been put up in relief camps in the four flood hit districts of Tamil Nadu including Chennai. There have been gigantic efforts by Indian Air Force in airlifting people from flood affected areas to safer places, railways besides providing shelters is also providing food packets to the marooned people. Even 5 star ITC hotel too is rendering a helping hand including feeding.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF FLOOD
- Mindless development. There has been unprecedented unauthorized construction of low lying areas. There has been reports that there are more than 1.5 lakh illegal structures. Whenever there is rain this area is flooded.
- Disappearance of water bodies. Water bodies which could otherwise would have provided help in retaining more flood water.
- Swamp area is used for unauthorized constructions resulting in flood water entering into the residential areas. The wetlands which used to absorb extra water of flood etc are now being used for construction of colonies.
- Inadequate drainage Functional sewerage system is not there which could take extra water emission due to floods etc.
- No Storm water drains in the suburbs though the same is available in city.
- Incessant rains forced authorities to release water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into Adyar river which is not so deep and since its banks are encroached upon by the people creating worst flood situation. Release of water from Poondi and other reservoirs into another river that flows through the city created havoc.
- Poor water management. Due to poor water management at the time when inundation is severe needs a close look and learn lesson out of this unprecedented rain and its resultant deluge.
RECENT NATURAL DISASTERS
In June 2013, a severe cloudburst in the northern part of Uttarkhand caused devastating floods and landslides killing thousands of people. Then who can forget the Tsumani of 2004 and devastating earthquake that shook Latur and also of Bhuj. All these natural calamities were faced by Indians unit.
Five days of incessant rains lashed the state of J&K due to which life in the state of J&K came to standstill. Due to this unprecedented rains, all road communication to the valley from Jammu, Rajouri and its adjoining areas got disrupted. communication too got disturbed besides washing off many bridges due to which transportation of goods and services were severely hit. The road from Srinagar to Leh and Ladakh was also damaged. This made it difficult for the people to stock the supplies for the coming winter, as is the usual practice.
It has been experienced, whereinsoever and whensoever humans has disturbed the natural fabric / balance Mother Nature gives back with ferocity at its command in the form of natural calamities. Meaning we ourselves are responsible for natural imbalance and we have to suffer the consequences of our actions. In any part of the world, whenever there is a natural disaster in the form of earthquake, tsunami, or floods; these ought to be taken as a problem requiring humane consideration because there is huge loss of men and materials. It goes to show that Mother Nature is very kind to those who respect It but very retributive who disturb its balance. Nobody is big or small for the Mother Nature. It has its own method of pay back.
Be that as it may, it should never be forgotten that in the past, National calamities of any degree, Indians have come to the forefront and provided every succour to the needy brethren. This time too this is our e fervent appeal that our countrymen will come to the rescue of the people.
Ii is not merely in India, natural tragedies in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, floods, and other natural disasters etc do happen in other parts of the world. The causes are not far to seek. These happen because of our own karma.
FUTURE REMEDIAL MEASURES
- The role which the Army, Air Force and the NDRF have performed should also have been done by the Police Force of Tamil Nadu – who are much aware of the topography of the area. It is advisable to render them adequate training.
- Contingency Plan by the State administration should be made based on the lessons learnt from the present unprecedented floods.
- There is a requirement of building strong bunds and sand bags kept ready in adequate numbers made ready to plug the breaches.
- The wetlands which used to absorb flood water are being used for construction. It should be stopped forthwith.
- The relief and rehabilitation after water level recedes should be looked after on a war footing. This should be done on war footing.
- Contingency Plan should be made to fight the outbreak of any epidemic. Hospitals in Chennai should be better equipped to deal with any eventualities in future.
- Construction of houses which would be damaged due to adverse affects of water logging due to unprecedented flood water. For this planned effort is the need of the hour. Or the houses which have already been destroyed or partially damaged need to be taken care of.
- Forest cover to increase for maintaining natural balance.
- Stop unplanned constructions by cutting trees.
- Joint efforts of all the countries of the world is the crying need for maintaining atmospheric balance. Paris joint effort has to be agreed to and respected by all to save this earth from future natural tragedies.
This unprecedented flood should be considered as National Tragedy and requires a gigantic National effort which, I am sure, will fructify if all the people forge together and come forward in this hour of need; in whatever manner they can. We fervently appeal to our countrymen to come forward and make their contribution to the PM’s Relief Fund or any other legitimate agency for this effort. God will certainly help those who show compassion for their brethren in need. Let it be known that tragedy in any part of India should be taken as a NATIONAL TRAGEDY.