Chennai needs Disaster Management to handle flood victims

Chennai needs Disaster Management to handle flood victims

This communication is issued with the good intention to help Tamil Nadu state to handle the flood relief and rehabilitation works in an efficient and productive manner.

This communication is issued with the good intention to help Tamil Nadu state to handle the flood relief and rehabilitation works in an efficient and productive manner.

The people in Chennai are in bleak. No, doubt, NRIs and other International Communities are willing to offer help. Provided, the present Government must be qualified and accept external assistance and handle in a professional way.

Despite State Government’s efforts, supplemented by NGOs and Indian Military team, the Chennai and Kadalore District residents are depressed and left without hopes. They are worrying about their future welfare and health. The heavy rain is stopped, but the sufferings continue to abide .The stored waters are contaminated with sewage water. In some areas, the water is blessed with dangerous pesticides and flies. There are so much health hazards. But there is evidence that authorities have not acted in a war footing manner. (Refer Social Media and press reports)

I contacted more than 200 people and friends, 95% of them have expressed their dismay over Government’s attitude .The reason is obvious. “Jayalalitha, self imposed people leader and but is not available for public. She does not have interaction with her own Ministers and Party leaders. Either she is sick or she is under shield”, some of the late MGR’s associates say.

True, in this scenario, one cannot expect a leader like her will come to the battle field. Is this leadership is needed for India? The CM is totally unaware of the risk exposed due to recent Man-made calamity. "She is guided by greedy friends and selfish officials. It seems the higher officials and Ministers are scare to provide her actual picture. Either they misguide her or please her "people commented.

The government is functioning like coterie, routine and traditional way. It is slow .Instead of encouraging NGOs and individual social organizations, the ruling government officials and AIADMK party men are interested to distribute the aids materials with Amma picture stacked .They try to get cheap sympathy over people. They are adding fuel to the fire.

Stalin, an active personality from DMK leadership, has suggested to convene all political parties to form a committee to deal the relief work. It is good to have single collective work monitored by other leaders to avoid fraud and nepotism, but his suggestions were turned into deaf air.

People expect the Central Government must intervene immediately and should form a Disaster management committee to rehabilitate the millions.

The committee should have Technocrats, Social workers, Government Officials, and eminent business people. The committee should have a Chairman from UN body or any other qualified Western Urban Planning expert to guide and supervise the rehabilitation work. The committee should be assisted by Land bank / Revenue officials, MMDA Planners, and MEP engineers from Chennai Corporation. The life of the committee should be for more than 5 years, irrespective of the government holds power. There should be a mandate for the committee to fix the fundamental issues and aim for long term vision of the city.

The committee should come with property development regulatory guidelines and submit to Ministry of Urban Development at Central. “Under Indian democratic and federal system, state must be accountable for implementing the regulatory aspects “says Urban Planners.

Development experts in UAE are questioning the integrity of Government in India on urban planning and environment matters that affect people lives. Mohammed Al Habbai, Chief Officer of Urban Planning of Dubai Properties Group, an arm of Dubai Government which has developed World class Master communities, comments ‘if India needs help we are ready to provide our expertise in design and develop the Chennai and advice to free from natural disaster.

Parveen , an Architect from University of Western Australia has commented, Chennai people needs social conscious and civic sense in designing and developing city.

“ We need to take care of the millions of middle class people and down trodden in terms of their housing inhibitions , health and economic standards .” They have to see the Far East countries, Japan and China who were all having the flood and earth quake on higher intensity. However, they protect, preserve and ensure proper infrastructure facilities before they build. Is it possible for Chennai people to have this social sense? I doubt “she says.

I sincerely recommend the Tamil Nadu Government to study the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Disaster report 2 that will help to address the crisis and to correct. Dr .Parasuraman’s, (the Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai) report tries to examine the nature of human activities and how they have been impacting the ecosystem. And as a consequence of the changes in the ecosystem, how natural phenomenon like floods has been exacerbating the intensity of the disaster.

He says the flood impact is not the act of God; it is an act of the people, act of policies and act of other processes. Dr.UnniKrishnan who has done excellent Urban and Community plan research along with Dr.Parasuraman confirms that “we can stop a disaster from becoming a crisis. This is where a very strong leadership , primarily from the Government side , and the government able to galvanize the collective capacity , which includes the civil society , the NGOs , Medias and experts make it together work”

I do not visualize that the Tamil Nadu Government has such long term vision and would organize collectively involving the people and resources. The state is handicapped with leadership management.

It is the pity of Tamil Nadu people who give importance to adulation. Though, they are literate but they lack maturity and advancement in cognitive skills. We cannot blame the people for their status. It is the job of enlightened people, Universities and schools to educate them what is right and wrong.

The moral value is missing .If there is no governance and ethics among political parties, it would be hard to expect such behaviour from common and down trodden people. The mess created by both Diravidian parties who always blame each other for short term gain. They also bribe voters frequently. Who has to be blamed for this havoc?

For people to change and own their powers, they need to organize themselves. Good luck to Tamil Nadu ?
by Dr.Pon Mohaideen Pitchai
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