Did Chennai Learn Anything From the 2015 Floods?

Indian cities are starting to look boringly similar on the ground. The roads look similar, and so do some of the malls, buildings, apartment complexes and shops. Watching a city while approaching it in an aircraft, train or by road gives a perspective on the landscape on which it is built upon.

Landing at Chennai, one can see many irrigation tanks. These are usually depressions in which a mud or masonry wall has been constructed at the deep end, with a spillway allowing excess water to flow back into the stream. Downstream, not very far from this tank, would be another, for which the inlet stream will be from the outlet of the earlier one. These networks of water bodies are visible when driving into the city from the adjoining Thiruvallur or Chengelput districts.

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