Relief supplies in Chennai being held up by AIADMK party workers for publicity stickers

The rains in Madras (Chennai) have been the heaviest in 100 years. Which only proves that the climate is only doing what it has done before. Global warming and climate change have nothing whatever to do with the current situation. The flooding is unprecedented however. But it is the real estate feeding frenzy which has seen the old water bodies disappear as they were drained to satisfy the lust of the building developers. In addition, low lying areas have been paved over to give way to high rise monstrosities to satisfy the growth of the city, but the drainage provided has been at the minimum required by inadequate planning standards. Storm drains have not been given much thought. That water now collects in these low lying areas since there are inadequate run-off possibilities, makes the current flooding almost inevitable. Developers have gotten away with it because such heavy rains don’t come that often. Needless to say that the new IT corridor with its glistening, futuristic offices, is among the worst affected.

There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and many innocent scapegoats will be found as the post-mortem gets under way once the waters recede, and the clean-up begins. I heard this morning that food prices are going through the roof (not unexpected) but at least water supply sources have not been reported to have been contaminated. Water snakes are having a field day but they are, at least, not venomous. Transport is paralysed though the airport opened again today. One unexpected problem is that bodies from deaths quite unrelated to the flooding are accumulating in homes and make-shift “cool houses”, for want of the ability to cremate them. (Normally cremation occurs within 24 – 48 hours of death). The highest risk for disease will probably come just after the waters recede and people become mobile again.

One does not expect, even at the best of times, that political party workers have any ethical standards at all (let alone any high standards). But the reports this morning that AIADMK party workers have been holding up relief packets just so that can first stick on pictures of the Chief Minister (Jayalalitha), must be a new low even for them.

LivemintAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK), the ruling party of Tamil Nadu led by J Jayalalithaa, promised to take strict action against party workers who blocked volunteers or forced them to paste her pictures on relief materials meant for Chennai flood victims. ….

The AIADMK party workers’ decision to stick Jayalalithaa’s pictures on relief material and use the rescue efforts for publicity faced severe criticism from Chennai residents and others on social media.

While the rains have subsided, the city and other parts of Tamil Nadu are yet to recover from the flooding caused by the heaviest rains in a century that claimed over 300 lives and forced the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to undertake its most massive flood relief operation ever.

The waters are beginning to recede though further heavy rain is again forecast. Hopefully the worst is over and the relief has begun to flow in earnest. But the clean up will take some time.

There is behaviour and there is behaviour, but party political workers are a species unto themselves.

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