Newsroom analysis: What caused the Chennai floods?

Floods in Chennai have visited destruction on the city. Transport systems have shut down, public utilities have become unavailable and people are stranded in their homes and on the streets. While rescue operations are underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 1,000 crore package.

Briefing both Houses in Parliament, the Union home minister Rajnath Singh said, "A total of 944 personnel with 102 boats and two columns of the army comprising of 124 personnel are engaged in relief and rescue operations in Tamil Nadu. Till now the state government and the NDRF teams have taken 40,432 to safety."

Singh also announced that the floods have left 269 people dead.

However according to climate scientists and environmentalists this was a disaster waiting to happen, and could recur.

As Nityanand Jayaraman points out in an article in Scroll, "The South Buckingham Canal from Adyar creek to Kovalam creek has been squeezed from its original width of 25 metres to 10 metres in many places due to the Mass Rapid Transit System railway stations. Important flood retention structures such as Virugambakkam, Padi and Villivakkam tanks are officially abandoned."

With marshlands and canals encroached upon, the city hardly has an outlet for flood water in case of such incessant rain.

Firstpost News Editors Devparna Acharya and Rohini Chatterji analyse why Chennai was inundated.

Updated Date: Dec 03, 2015 22:35:35 IST