Chennai’s floods show the need for climate-conscious urbanisation
Was the recent episode of heavy rains and flooding in Chennai, which brought the metropolis to its knees for several days, a consequence of climate change? It very well may be...But to just blame climate change-induced heavy rain alone for the chaos in Chennai would be wrong. Like Kashmir (2014) and Uttarakhand (2013), Chennai was also as much a man-made disaster as it was a climate disaster. In its rush to develop, the government and urban planners have completely destroyed its vast network of water bodies that would soak in extra water in case of heavy rainfall and the natural drainage system. The city’s largest mall, Phoenix, is on a lake-bed — Velachery.