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Stalin’s Emergency Handling Of Chennai Floods Is In Sharp Contrast To Jayalalithaa’s Style

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister visiting rain-affected areas of Chennai after an extreme rainfall event last Sunday was not mere tokenism. He spent hours together over three days surveying areas under water, overseeing the distribution of relief and attending endless meetings on monsoon preparedness while fulfilling duties associated with normal CEOs of States. If there was a message in Stalin’s sustained supervision of relief measures it may have had to do with what happened to Chennai in 2015 when its wettest ever time came about in 36-hours with a perfect storm dumping 50 cms of water. The average of 20 cms that the city received overnight in 2021 was not as phenomenal but it caused nearly as much damage. What had made 2015 rain so catastrophic was the uncontrolled release of over 100,000 cusecs of water from a city reservoir in Chembarambakkam, flooding the Adyar river and causing immense loss of life and property. This had come about because desperate water managers had not been able to get through to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was not 100% well at the time and was prone to sleeping it off in her Poes Garden residence. Stalin, a fit 67-year-old with a healthy lifestyle, would like to show that his antenna is up and is always available for duty.