Last year, Chennai faced its first ever major flood as rains submerged the entire city.
This year, volunteers of Arappor Iyakkam (non-violence movement) organised a panel discussion session to talk about the precautions that the city needs to take to avert another such damage.
They even gave an open invite to the officials of Tamil Nadu government including present PWD minister, MLAs from various parts of the city and the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. But no one turned up for the event except for DMK MLA J Anbazagan from Chepauk constituency.
Nearly 600 Chennaites were present and there was no trace of a political party anywhere. People representing their area residential associations shared their grief on stage, making it clear that Chennai is not ready to for the rains.
Nagarajan, a resident of Mugalivakkam shared his experience when he was stuck on his roof top for nearly five days relying on air dropped food parcels.
“I was there at my roof top, after nearly a week I decided to leave the place and I swam to safety. That kind of situation should never occur again,” he said.
Subadra, who resides at Perungudi explained how her home was under two feet of water.
Perungudi is a low lying area of Chennai that does not have proper storm water drainage system and sewage system, leading to the mixing of sewage with stagnated rain water, contaminating the entire region.
“No work has started yet, so many canals are yet to be cleaned, many areas need to be desilted and we have only two months for the rain. If this condition prevails, we will definitely face another flood,” cautioned Subadra.
Though people eagerly participated in this programme, not one government official from the concerned department was present to give any form of explanation.
“Floods occur everywhere but what matters is how we can prepare to face it. Even London city faced disastrous floods. What we should do is prepare ourselves. As government officials, we should go and meet the people,” conveyed, Anbazagan.
His greatest lament seems to be the non-cooperation of government staffs to DMK ministers, “We approach the appropriate officials but they don’t want to work with us as they only see DMK-AIADMK politics but in this local body elections, DMK will definitely attain majority and make sure that correct measures would be taken,” he added.
Chennai corporation claims that Rs 110 crore has been allotted for desilting lakes and cleaning canals. No formulative plans have been sorted out to remove water body encroachments. With only two months remaining for the rain, it is high time Tamilnadu government act in a war front emergency or lose to see Chennai float again.