The human handClimate change is not the only guilty party: the scale of the disaster at Chennai was magnified by a rampant disregard for town planning, and the basic principles of ecology and hydrology. To name just a few of the violations: the international airport is built on the floodplain of the Adyar river; the Mass Rapid Transit System sits atop the Buckingham Canal; the government allowed buildings to be erected over more than 273 hectares of the Pallikarni marshland to the south of the city; and the city�s famed Information Technology and Knowledge Corridors encompass wetlands and marshlands that would normally act as a sink for flood water.
Modern states have always used urban and infrastructure planning as a way to control and exploit nature�s more unruly tendencies: whether it�s water flowing down a river, waves battering the coast or food sources growing on the land or in the sea. There have been countless examples: from the colossal web of transport lines and ports built throughout colonial East Africa and South Asia, to the extensive damming of the Tennessee River System, which inspired similarly ambitious projects in the Mekong River Basin and the Narmada Valley.
An aerial view of submerged Chennai airport taken from the IAF helicopter, following heavy rains in the region pic.twitter.com/tKWS4O6gv6� MIB India (@MIB_India) December 3, 2015