Dec 5, 2005

Bad water

Unprecedently, Tamilnadu, esp. Chennai was hit by a fourth cyclone in two months. The most recent one was on the weekend and the cyclone Baaz took a real heavy toll on the daily routine of Chennaiites. I called up home on the weekend and realized that, as a result of water having entered the house knee-high, they had to move out to my uncle's house 2 kms away. By y'day (Sunday night in India) the water had drained off, thanks to the stop in the downpour.

(Pics adopted from Dinamalar)

Important parts of Chennai, such as Saidapet was under water; All the rivers like Adayar and Koovam are running full. The fotos on tamil magazines show pathetic scenes. Moreover, the government doesnt seem to have learnt anything from Oct-Nov rains; politicial games are also being played with this situation; the ruling party is using this as a chance to 'feed' its party cadres.

The last 12 months, beginning the Dec 26 Tsunami, have seen some 'bad water', with Mumbai rain and Chennai rains during Oct-Dec. Fire mishaps, albeit due to human error played havoc a few years ago in Srirangam and Kumbakonam; earthquakes was a severe calamity in Gujarat, Kashmir and recently in Indonesia resulting in the Tsunami. Probably we are doing something terribly wrong to earn the wrath of the 'panchaboothams'. This reminds me of the 'butterfly effect' and the related theory of chaos. We are doing far bigger damage over a much longer period of time that the earth has never experienced until the last century.

I sincerely hope and wish that the last 2 months serve as a huge learning experience for the government and the officials to be better prepared for the next year.


ada-paavi!!!! said...

raju, first of all as ive alreadt said the govt authorities acted well and the quality was much better than indian standards, but it doesnt meet international standards.

secondly the rains were uprecedented, by chennai standards and cauvery is floodin like this almost after 40 years, idukku ellam we cant be too prepared.

usa la irundu, indiala usa madri actiona ellam edhirpakkalama?

Paurna said...

usa la irundu, indiala usa madri actiona ellam edhirpakkalama?

now now this is too if the US govt took a lot of action when hurricane katrina ravaged new orleans.I don't need to tell u guys but the US government was ridiculed the world over and if that wasn't enuf there was rampant looting and riots which hasn't been the case in chennai.instead people have tried to lend a helping hand to everyone affected.

TamilPonnu said...

I feel terrible for the children :(

Raju said...

Vatsan, I read in online tamil magazines that the money lent by the central government is not used as it should be; the party workers 'eat away' a considerable chunk. I was about to mention the movie 'Chanakya' in my post; i didnt, since i didnt want to include a movie in this serious post. I read that some people, who came to get relief-aid were treated badly, shuttled between places and a few of them died in a stampede.. Adhellam can be avoided, illaiya? Eriya veetle pudungura case-a irukkey.. From what I read, the government doesnt take even half of the interest in properly spending the money to the deserved, compared to the interest shown in stacking up stats and demanding it from the center.

And, my post began with 'unprecedentedly' illaiya? I have never heard of a cyclone in December. I was concerned about this in terms of 'global warming'. I know we cant be too prepared; but, I was hearing about the 'Baaz' few days before it happened, in the context of the first test match. Atleast they could have issued warnings to people in low-lying areas, ille? I read that the water in several areas was upto chest high, and severe loss of property, including precious ones like notebooks of students and all..

I dont have a first-hand exp in the flood relief measures; but, from what I heard from my parents, the negligence in sub-urban areas is appalling..

And, I didnt compare with US at all, did I? I would have written this post even if I was sitting in Chennai or Bangalore.
Paurna, yes, US government, esp. the New Orleans Mayor goofed up big time.. it is no secret at all.. And, about looting and riots, I have seen reports of such incidents even during Tsunami; the link here also talks of people refusing to leave their homes in the fear of being looted. Good to know about people lending helping hands.

Nitin said...

extreme weather is striking all over the world, last year chennai was having water problems, no rain, affecting the farmers. this year too much rain.

tt_giant said...

1 or 0.
black or white.
draught or floods.

I think for this kind of magnitudes, we cannot do a whole lot.. The best thing would be to contruct strong levees or walls in the areas close to the river waters. Of course, this has to be done in summer. Pretty sure, if this idea is to be implemented, and taking into account that the elections are due soon, the govt. would build/do some temporary solutions which would be wahed away next time around.

In 2003 summer, 1000s died in france because of the heat. Why?. They did not have AC!. They did not expect this kind of a thing to happen. But as you said, this must be a learning exp. for us now.. And i mean us, not US.

kalai said...

was chatting with my friend in chennai yday....he was saying madras may soon be deleted from the map. avlo mosama irukkam! :(((

NaiKutti said...

" We are doing far bigger damage over a much longer period of time that the earth has never experienced until the last century" -- can't agree with u more....

and i don't know if u r following this: there might be another cyclone in TN coast within the next 7-10 days !!!!!

but as vatsan said, the relief efforts have been pretty good and i guess the govt. did a good job...

Ramana Siddharth said...

raju, madras is the rain city of india.the adyar river is flowing like yamuna or something...that was heartening!but that aside my god!like ur house the water has come into our house as well.

Vanathi said...

I thought of using boat instead of bus to go to Office :-(

Archana said...

been a long time too...
It was havoc when it happened in Bangalore.....Its the same state in every city
yeah...the year's been bad specially over the few abt a Omah to please God almighty?

Raju said...

Tamilponnu, yes, the children have suffered multitude of problems.. This is the exam month.. mid-way through their year, many have lost their precious notebooks.

I read in 'Kumudam' that Annamalai University hostellers were trapped in the hostel with no food, power and water flowing into hostel. Pathetic.. The university could have done better than that.
Nitin, this extreme weather has got to a point of being called calamitous. Even now, with this much rain, you just have to wait till March/April to hear the cry 'no water'. This year too, the farmers were terribly affected with all the rivers overflowing and several water reservoirs having been broken.
Deepak, mm.. total opposites..

We can do certain things, IMHO.. 1) Stop taking out sand from riverbeds.. and dry lakes.. 2) Desilt the water sources like lakes, ponds, etc. when they are dry in the summer. 3) Make good strong levees along water storage places, as you said. Much of damage in populated areas has happened due to the breakage. Yeah, the election nearing is the worst thing to happen.. Even if the government suddenly decides to do good, the election commission rules would not allow much of the construction to go on. Assuming that the power changes hands, it would lead to the usual 'ghazana empty' foul-cries..

I didnt know about the France summer debacle. That's sad.. All these suggest worse times ahead.. If I have to guess, summer 2006 would be terribly scorching in TN.

Raju said...

Kalai, yeah.. the fotos on the magazines are scary.. Koovam, Adayar, Bay of Bengal and Veeranam lake being close to Chennai means that, unless we are careful, anything can happen.
Karthik, yeah, I read that another is looking near Andaman.. It would be better for Chennaiites to visit their relatives in Trichy/Madurai next week..

Good to hear that the relief efforts are good this time.. That is hearterning..
Sid, mm.. the secod foto in my post is indeed Adayar.. Unbelievable.. I heard that it is stinking worse now with the mix of dirty water in mainland.. Sodhanai mael sodhanai..

Oh, water in ur house too? :-( It seems the land value in the flood-affected suburbs has drastically come down..
Vanathi, it seems boats are already being used in many areas.. would surely be faster than buses.
Archana, 'same state in every city' .. very true. Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

Homah to please god? I am sure people would do. The most important god to please is Bhoomadevi. High time we respect and understand her.

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