Of Chennai Floods in ShakurBasti
When floods had ravaged Uttarakhand, a few years ago in 2013, the nation acted if it was shocked. The devastation that followed was largely man-made with a number of unauthorized, illegal buildings flowing down the river carrying along with them bodies, dead and alive, a huge number of them.
Now Uttarakhand is in North India and Tamil Nadu in South India. Perhaps it was the distance. They learned little from the Uttarakhand floods. When floods ravaged Chennai in 2015, the water had simply nowhere to go to. Water bodies were encroached by greed of the local population. Urban planning was like a boring essay no one had ever read about. The city is growing without any method or idea. Just on basis of greed and politics as is every other city or town in India is being planned. And this is costing everyone except the rich guys a lot of money and as in this case, lot of lives. So many are dead just because we don't feel like giving up on our dream of encroaching as much public land as possible.
Of course, if that causes floods, people will rise up and go about asking donations for flood relief.Much of these will fund more haphazard structures. Just like it happened in Uttarakhand. Like it happens all the time.
At around same time Chennai was flooding, the Railways was removing encroachments from land t be used to upgrade facilities and equipment. No surprise was the backlash at Railways which decided to get back the public land at Shakur Basti in Delhi from encroachers (to improve the facilities and upgrade track supposedly for common people). The Indian media and Indian society was enraged. How dare, Indian Railways, remove encroachments on land meant for railways? The Hindi News media was especially fuming as their favorites, the Aam Admi Party was fuming. They wanted to show AAP their support. Their support for Shakur Basti. Their support for illegal encroachments and haphazard growth of Indian cities. So what, it can cause disaster. We can ask Central govt for more funds, tax people more. There will always be people like Sri, who worked selflessly during the Chennai floods, helping those in need. Not thinking about taking sides or blaming people, but just helping others out of goodness of her own heart.
But as long as the society encourages the Shakur Bastis in India, it should accept the collateral damage of lives that we will continue to lose over our own greed and lust for power.