Why Chennai is seeing its worst floods?
While officials at the India Meteorological Department have said the an exceptionally strong, along with a rare “coincidence of various factors”, has resulted in the heavy rain, there’s no denying that Chennai has failed in maintaining an effective storm water drainage system.In times when the city, and its suburbs, is being pounded with rainfall exceeding normal limits by over three times, a drainage system that is not functional, creeks and culverts that are blocked due to excessive dumping of garbage as well as the administration’s failure to ensure timely desilting.
The heaviest rainfall in over a century caused massive flooding across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, driving thousands from their homes, shutting auto factories and paralysing the airport in Chennai.
Cooum River, Adyar River and Buckingham Canal, which serve as the main rain water drain for the city, have all seen encroachments. In fact, only in September this year, the Madras High Court threatened to summon state’s chief secretary over differences in opinion between the government’s own departments.
A PIL was filed by the Kasturba Nagar and Indira Nagar Residents Welfare Forum, seeking the removal of encroachments on the Canal Bank Road along the Buckingham Canal. In their petition, they said the encroachments were not slum dwellings but concrete structures directly affecting the flow of the canal.
A man carries a girl through a flooded road in Chennai.