Ever wondered what if you wake up one day and finds no water gushing out in the tap to brush?. Surprised, you check the other water taps in the house and none of them gives a sign of water. You look at the clock and realises that you are already running late for your work. Or may be you have an Interview and how determined you were previous night to look your best.
With battling thoughts you keep on waiting for any possible sign of water dripping from already opened tap only to be disappointed time and again. Already furious, you unlock your phone screen and sees the messages beeping out with taglines “water crisis hits Chennai” with people sharing their anguish, complaints and fear. Alerted, You then switch on the television only to end up in news channel warning over the city running dry. Now you realises that you are doomed!! The city is doomed! Chennai, India’s sixth biggest city has run almost entirely out of water for the first time in record. The city’s four main reservoirs – Red Hills, Chembaramnakkam, Cholavaram and Poondi that contribute 60% of the city’s water requirement have shrunk and dried up. And the cracked lake beds have become grazing grounds.
Chennai, which is also popularly known an IT hub in India, is now in ruins. The severe water crises has brought both rich and poor on their knees. Schools are getting closed down, hospitals effected, restaurants shutting down. I can only imagine the mental and physical torture the 4.64 million people are being inflicted upon. Now this brings everyone to the premium question of how did it all happen?. The city had gone on to built highways, residential areas multi complexes and roads by converting large areas of water bodies. The concrete layer forming a blanket over the land prevents the water to sink deep underground during rain, removing all scope of ground water recharge. In addition, rampant disposal of sewage waste and garbage inside canals, rivers and lakes in the city over the years have worsened the problem.
It’s not all man-made, however, with the monsoon getting delayed, and making the crisis worse. Now with no sign of rain for another three to four months people are starting to fear the worst. Some have started fleeing the city while some deliberately praying for miraculous rain.
As I read news everyday about the condition of the city that has run dry, I cannot stop thinking to myself that Chennai is one of the smartest cities in India with excellent development and well groomed infrastructure BUT where does all these even count if the city is failing to meet its most basic requirement as basic as WATER.
It’s a wonder how we humans have gone way too blindly over reaching the heights of excellence in science and technology yet failed to take care of our very own environment. No one would listen to the signs and warnings of the consequences of converting water bodies into concrete jungle of structures. The city had no option but to finally give up.
I feel for those people who are under extreme pressure right now, at the same time I hope this serves as a reminder and a warning for us to take timely account of our environment, do every necessary action to keep it sustainable.
If only I had an option as a scientist or an eminent technology scholar, I would much rather worry , and give my first priority in keeping the environment sustainable then sitting in a lab and breaking my head over how to achieve artificial intelligence in robots. May be we need to be reminded that if we respect nature, it will definitely nourish us back but if we go against nature, then it will have its own harsh way of getting back it’s balance.
God help Chennai.
Sources of reference- https://www.thehindu.com/