Bengaluru, Dec 4: The floods in Chennai should be a lesson to cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
"Unplanned growth and urbanisation are the sure shot recipes for disaster and developing cities must take note of this," says D S Rawat, secretary general of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
"Urbanisation and unplanned growth are the main contributing factors for floods in Chennai, which is also a lesson for both upcoming and existing metros like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and others as any negligence or ill-preparedness might invite trouble in a similar manner or may be even worse than this," says Rawat.
The financial loss due to record breaking rainfall in Chennai and several parts of Tamil Nadu may even exceed Rs 15,000 crore mark as the city of Chennai has come to a virtual standstill and is in the grip of fear and panic.
"Unprecedented torrential downpour in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu has led to total chaos, thereby creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and panic not only for the trade, industry and other commercial activities but especially amid common individuals who are bearing heavy financial loss to their properties," he also said.
Review disaster management:
"Authorities in all metros should review their disaster management plans at regular intervals and make long-term plans to improve drainage systems, even households and communities need to be prepared for such extreme events that are generally predicted about, SMS alerts and advance warnings should be sent to residents, local authorities need to be well-organised to deal with such emergencies," he added.
"There is a need for a flood-prevention plan comprising precise weather forecast, timely warning and close monitoring of vulnerable areas during emergencies to ensure that roads are not inundated and humans and vehicles are safe even when torrential rain lashes the city," Rawat also says.
Small and medium enterprises, automobile and engineering industries, information technology (IT), ITeS, textile, tourism and a host of other sectors have been worst affected by the massive rainfall.
ASSOCHAM launched a drive to mobilize funds from its four lakh plus member organizations across India to come forward and contribute generously to provide rescue, relief and rehabilitation to victims of the incessant rains and floods in Chennai.
"We have urged our members, colleagues and common individuals to come together for generously donating to the Prime Minister's and Chief Minister's Relief Fund and extend quick and maximum help to the affected people in this hour of extreme crisis as the heavy rains have wreaked a havoc in Tamil Nadu, more particularly in Chennai and adjoining areas ASSOCHAM says.
"The torrential rains have caused massive human and property loss, our generosity will make a direct and meaningful difference to the lives of those affected, it is a serious matter and we need to work together to come out of this difficult time."
Apart from trade and industry, it is the common people. small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and auto ancillary units that have been worst affected by this catastrophe.