Letter to BS: Why 'Kerala flood' is a more man-made calamity than natural

This refers to “The Kerala havoc” (August 20). The editorial rightly highlights how man-made factors have contributed to this calamity. Environmentalists often caution authorities about the dangers of deforestation, reckless construction activity by the land mafia and quarrying. These destroy the natural drainage channels and harm the water bodies. We have seen how this double whammy caused flooding in Chennai, Mumbai, and Uttarakhand in recent years.

Flooding in Kerala was forecast years ago but officials, in nexus with builders, continued to sanction construction projects without taking the topography into account. But those environmental violations from the past have left the state suffering financial losses and have adversely affected businesses too. 

Also, it is not just about one state. Warnings of increased frequency of extreme weather events, severe droughts, rise in the sea level and melting of glaciers from scientists all over the world are unheeded and we continue to remain in a state of denial. Development should not come at the cost of environment. 

Krishan Kalra Gurugram

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