The Kosasthalai River near Chennai that has not yet turned into a drain still provides livelihood to fishermen. This river is several times bigger than the Adyar and the Cooum rivers. We have lost 1090 acres from the creek due to selfish encroachments done with no environmental concern.
The Vallur Thermal Plant and the North Chennai Thermal Power Plant continue to dump their ash into the Kosasthalai. The government has been indifferent to this though environmental activists have been protesting against these violations for years. Fisherfolk of the area working with other public are seeking to raise their voices but it’s like blowing a horn into a dead man’s ear. Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum add to the problem with their oil refineries that have built on the river.
I hear that the work is on to encroach upon 1000 more acres of the creek in the guise of expanding Kamarajar Port Limited. Any state that does not give the poor the same help and priority that it gives to land dealers is like the riverbank that ignores a good river running by it.
North Chennai will be flooded even if there are normal rains like last year. Weather experts predict heavy rains; that could cause property and even life loss to nearly 10 Lakh people. 100 walkie Talkies and boats may be the way to save people who will be affected by the predicted rains in the short term but a good government should have a long term plan for the betterment of people.
This is not a critique of the mistake already committed. Rather, This is a warning for the grave danger ahead. People can call a helpline number provided by the government when in trouble. But we are warning the people and the government before trouble strikes. We hope that the people will heed this alarm bell, and in the event that the government does not, we hope that the people will be able to set that right.