oppn parties Chennai Pays for Shortsightedness of Townplanners

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Chennai Pays for Shortsightedness of Townplanners

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Chennai is suffering due to the shortsightedness of its town planners and the greed of its politicians. It is given fact that in India money making is the major intention of all those who claim to work for the pubic.

Hence, like in all other cities in India, unrestricted and irregular building activity has been allowed in Chennai. This has resulted in the city being deprived of water bodies, whose number has been diminishing with time. A faulty drainage system has added to the woes.

Intelligent town planners would have taken the highest rainfall received in the city and added at least 10 percent to that for contingency to design an effective storm water drainage system network. But in India, the highest rainfall is seen as a one-off and planning is done on the basis of average rainfall received to reduce project costs and get sanctions. This has to change.

Of course the heavens poured like never before but the least the citizens can expect is a civic body alive to the problem. The blame game now going on serves no one. If the DMK ruled civic body indulged in irregularities, what did the AIADMK do to prevent that as a responsible opposition? Further, what has it done after it assumed power to reverse the situation?

Not that the people are not to blame. Whatever drainage exists is usually clogged by indiscriminate disposal of daily garbage by households. Plastic cups and other disposables used by itinerant vendors on the streets are major contributors to clogging of drains. But drains need to be desilted regularly to be free to carry excess water. Obviously, civic workers too have been shirking their duty. Proper disposal of waste, regular desilting of drains and scientific waste management could have helped.

But for any city to have good and effective infrastructure, its planners would have to be visionaries and its politicians honest. Sadly, both of these are vanishing tribe in India.