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EPISODE – XII
TOPIC: DARK CLOUDS AND SILVER LINING
BLOG: THE HINDU
READ BEFORE YOU PROCEED:
D2G wears no responsibility of the views published here by the respective Author. This Editorial is used here for Study Purpose. Students are advised to learn the word-meaning, The Art of Writing Skills and understand the crux of this Editorial.
MEANINGS are given in BOLD and ITALIC
Making extensive preparations for rare, extreme situations is neither easy nor economical. Both the Tamil Nadu administration and the residents of Chennai and its neighbouring districts were not ready for the relentless (Something bad that is relentless never stops or never becomes less intense.) spells (When you spell a word, you write or speak each letter in the word in the correct order.) of rain after the North-East monsoon set in, flooding homes and offices, roads and malls. Ordinarily, the worry for Chennai is a weak monsoon with deficit rainfall that leaves little water for drinking purposes and irrigation. But, over the last 30 days, the government and the people were dealing with the ill-effects of an unusually active monsoon that seemed intent on over compensating for the deficit years with record rainfall. Even as the city returned to some sort of normalcy after one torrential downpour (A downpour is a sudden and unexpected heavy fall of rain.), it had to contend with another spell of rain. Displacement, traffic jams, power cuts, rising prices, and scarcity of food, the woes (Woe is very great sadness. ) just would not end for the people of Chennai. The situation was especially bad for those in the relatively new residential areas in the suburbs where, in recent years, real estate growth was given priority over planned development. Also, more than the amount of rainfall, Chennai was hit badly by the overflow of water from reservoirs and breaches in lakes and tanks, and the flooding of water channels that were already choked with silt (Silt is fine sand, soil, or mud which is carried along by a river.) and refuse. With an unprecedented discharge of water, Chennai’s rivers have shown no respect for the bridges and the roads, effectively cutting off people and places on one bank with the people and places on the other bank. With bus and suburban railway services becoming inoperable, Chennai had to rely heavily on the new Metro line and the Mass Rapid Transit System.
But the rains were not all about doom (Doom is a terrible future state or event which you cannot prevent.) and gloom (The gloom is a state of near darkness.). The government did remarkably well in rescue and relief efforts, quickly requisitioning (If people in authority requisition a vehicle, building, or food, they formally demand it and take it for official use. (FORMAL))the deployment of the armed forces to evacuate people in flooded areas and engaging in elaborate rehabilitation work. In the end, even Opposition leaders readily praised the relief measures taken up in challenging circumstances. The distress brought about by the rain also revealed the remarkable strength and character of the people in the city and the affected districts, with NGOs supplementing the efforts of the government, and public- spirited individuals taking up relief work, spending time and resources in reaching out to those left stranded. The Hindu is privileged to be a part of these efforts. Social networks were full of messages offering help or information on where help would be available. Malls and private schools and colleges too opened their doors to the flood victims. A radio taxi service provider, under criticism for failing to arrange cabs, offered free boat services. Clearly, the civic solidarity (If a group of people show solidarity, they show support for each other ) was in evidence everywhere, with volunteers helping to ferry the aged and the sick, and distribute food packets and warm clothes. Without a doubt, this has been the silver lining (A silver lining is a metaphor for optimism in the common English-language idiom “Every cloud has a silver lining.”) in the dark clouds over Chennai over the last few weeks. The lessons learnt during this extended disaster should result in a hard look at existing policies on urban planning, and a short-term revamp of the inadequacies (deficiency) in the civic infrastructure of urban areas.
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