Watch | Why was Chennai so badly flooded? | Cyclone Michaung

Why was Chennai so badly flooded? | Cyclone Michaung
| Video Credit: Thamodharan Bharath

A video looking at the factors behind Chennai going underwater and the slow path to recovery

December 07, 2023 11:52 pm | Updated April 30, 2024 05:03 pm IST

Following the devastation caused by Cyclone Michaung overnight on December 3 and 4, many areas in Chennai are still reeling under flood waters.

Facing criticism over the manner in which the floods situation was handled by the ruling DMK government, Chief Minister MK Stalin and administrators reeled out rainfall statistics and scientific reasons to explain why Chennai went under water. The opposition, led by the AIADMK mocked the government’s claim of having spent Rs 4,000 crore towards building flood-resilient infrastructure in Chennai.

Let’s leave aside the political blame game for a while, and instead look at factors, other than the torrential rains, that contributed to Chennai resembling an island of sorts.

One of the major contributing factors has been a massive building plan violation as well as encroachments on land and water bodies.

Also read: Planned release from reservoirs helped avert flash floods in Chennai

The VBR Menon Vs State of Tamil Nadu case filed in the Madras High Court after the historic December 2015 floods led to certain revelations. At the time the Water Resources Department said that the area of 19 major lakes had shrunk from a total of 1,130 hectares to nearly 645 hecares. A study by IIT Madras found that two decades ago, about 650 water bodies existed in the Chennai region. Now, only a fraction, exists.

What were some of the other factors that aggravated the ground situation?

Presentation: D. Suresh Kumar

Production: Shibu Narayan

Videography: Thamodharan Bharath

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