When Cyclone Nivar was predicted to make landfall between Mahabalipuram and Karaikal, Tamil Nadu state government assured that all measures were taken to help stranded citizens and keep them off danger.
However, little interest was shown over the sufferings of over 1,700 families right outside the border of Greater Chennai Corporation, at Thalambur.
Several hundred families settled at Thalambur Garden City DLF cluster settlement have to suffer due to the November’s monsoon rains which have left the area waterlogged.
The water level has increased and blocked the only road that connects them to the city. Basements in various blocks are flooded.
Even after 20 days, rain water has not subsided in Chemmencherry, one of Chennai’s most prominent areas. India Today’s Pramod Madhav gets us the details.#ReporterDiary
More Video: https://t.co/FAHzdk9TO8 pic.twitter.com/CffYkQYhfV— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) December 8, 2020
Why did this happen?
The state machinery is yet to ascertain the cause though residents and environmentalists are able to explain.
The entire area acts as a waterbed collecting rainwater and the decision of state governments to allow construction in the region without assessing the environmental damage it would lead to has led to this situation.
Thirumalai Kumar, who lives on the 14th floor of one of the towers said that this is not what he expected when he wished to settle at Thalambur a decade ago.
“I had just returned from Dubai and what I saw here was undigestable. When I went to the terrace, I could only see water everywhere. How are we supposed to live in this condition with our family?”, he questioned looking at sandbags placed near the gateway of the apartment complex knowing how useless they had been in keeping the water away.
When asked the as to what authorities said over resolving the issue, Swaminathan, another resident of the complex could only painful smirk as a reply. “We are living in a Bermuda Triangle. The Greater Chennai Corporation limits end exactly at the beginning of this road and they ask us to approach Chengalpattu authorities for help. We did so, but nothing turned fruitful”.
When asked if the Central Committee which arrived in Chennai to assess the damage met with the residents, Thirumalai Kumar was not happy. “They did come upto Semmanchery area but couldn’t come to our location. In fact I was told that pictures of waterlogging from this spot were taken and shown to them. How do you expect me to now believe this when none from the members of the committee even stepped into our area?”, he questioned back.
Nagalakshmi, wife of Thirumalai Kumar informed that until Tuesday (December 8), the place was not accessible to even an ambulance. “Several disturbing incidents occurred. In the opposite tower, there was a death and when we called for an ambulance, the driver couldn’t make it due to the high level of water. I couldn’t blame him. We finally managed to bring in a large truck and moved the body. Since then, we are either using trucks or JCB loaders (earthmovers) to travel to office or any other location,” she said.
Nagalakshmi, Thirumalaikumar, Swaminathan and several other residents from the location only wish to know as to when this struggle that repeats monsoon after monsoon would end.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi K Palanisamy had visited Semmanchery area four days after Cyclone Nivar made landfall and when water began to reside, he assured that a solution would be drawn soon for the problem.
What is the ‘solution’ and when it will be implemented is the only question, Thirumalai Kumar, Nagalakshmi, Sathyamurthy several hundred families from Thalambur and Semmanchery are waiting to be answered.