Letters

Encroaching on water bodies

Updated on: Mar 09, 2018

This refers to the editorial, ‘Chennai and after’ (December 4). It is difficult for any government to react to nature’s fury but what we have seen in Chennai is the cumulative effect of encroachments of all lakes and waterways, mainly in the last three decades. Successive governments turned a blind eye to this issue thanks to vote-bank politics; this calamity is worse than what Mumbai experienced.

The population of Chennai 100 years ago when it rained similarly was less than 10 lakh; now with such a large population and limitations in storm water drainage the damage is severe. This is a golden opportunity to restore rivers and lakes to their original form; the government should notify the original list of lakes and rivers and clear all encroachments on them as the public will support such action now.

Reservoirs should be desilted regularly. Unauthorised constructions on lakes and rivers can best be controlled by not giving power connections to them.

M Raghuraman

Mumbai

Almost all cities have unplanned growth due to the possibility of making quick money by encroaching upon lakes and other low-lying areas. That’s what materialism brings.

VS Ganeshan

Bengaluru

When Mumbai was flooded in 2005, the nation stood by Mumbai’s citizens. Voluntary efforts to provide food, technological and logistical support have been made possible by active involvement of the media and WhatsApp communication. Though the efforts of the army, navy and airforce, with the NDRF team is appreciable, the agencies should have been alerted right from the time rains hit the city early last month.

IMD should play an active role in providing weather satellite images on a daily basis through print media and TV channels. However, it is unfair to blame the local municipal body which has been proactive in providing support to and evacuating those affected.

The Centre should focus on involving municipality agencies in climate change strategies. It should also focus on identifying crucial freenfield airstrips and executing the projects at the earliest.

Varun Dambal

Bengaluru

According to the Centre for Science and Environment , water-logging and flooding in Chennai and its suburbs is a result of lack of preservation of water bodies and drainage channels, not nature as the government would have us believe.

The CSE’s research showing the strength of water bodies that numbered 600 in the 1980s now reduced to a fraction points to our blind approach to urbanisation. Had the powers undertaken proper urban planning and put systems in place, wouldn’t it have cost much less than what the Prime Minister has announced as part of the relief package to Tamil Nadu?

The moot point is whether the funds will mitigate the sufferings of people, or whether it will be spent on plugging the loopholes that are a primary cause for water-logging and flooding not just in the capital city, but in many places in the State.

R Prabhu Raj

Bengaluru

Such acts of nature are a reminder of the consequences of unplanned development. Not to mention the role of the government in granting licences to unscrupulous contractors.

At the same time, we must think about the upkeep of public facilities. For Indians, a drain or canal is as good as a dustbin. Small-time businessmen and roadside vendors throw papers and plastics into drains. This needs to change.

The general public needs to be made aware of the importance of unclogged canals and sewage systems. Let us all take the Swachh Bharat mission more seriously.

Ramakrishnan G

Email

Erratum

In the article titled ‘Why pollsters get it wrong’ published in the cat.a.lyst (December 4), a portion of the text was repeated and the last paragraph was inadvertently left out. The error is regretted. Read the corrected article at http://www.thehindubusinessline. com/catalyst/why-pollsters-get-it- wrong/article7945291.ece

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on December 04, 2015
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