Are we ready?

The unanticipated December 2015 floods in Chennai put not only the city’s but also the Institute’s disaster management and mitigation measures to test. After the recent warnings of an approaching cyclone, we decided to talk to the authorities in order to gauge the preparedness of the institute to tackle such worst circumstances if they arise. 

In the following article, we compile the comments by the chairman of CCW, Professor K Sethupathi and Retd. Col. Jayakumar (Joint Registrar, students) along with a few insights from the placement team. 

In the words of Professor K Sethupathi, Chairman, Council of Wardens, the Institute passed the test with flying colors. The fact that around two thousand packets of fresh food were disbursed to the neighboring enclaves of the Institute stand as testimony to the statement. Arrangements to stock sufficient supplies in the event of a flood or an unprecedented downpour, Professor Sethupathi said. Retd. Col. Jayakumar, Joint Registrar (Students) further indicated that the Institute caterers had been instructed, well in advance, to stock up on both dry ration and fresh ration, with the former removing the hurdle of transportation in the event of a flood.

They expressed their belief that the Institute, like in December last year, was prepared to face any unforeseen event(s), thanks to the timely management of resources.

Retd. Col. Jayakumar’s placed immense confidence in the Institute’s administration through the following words: “The administration of the campus has matured and there is no need to test our capability”.

Professor Sethupathi concurred and added that IIT Madras was one of the most readied campuses for any eventualities. He also pointed out that students of low-lying hostels were asked to move to the upper floors, prior to the rains.

When asked about the ongoing placements and hurdles to the process during the rains, Retd Col Jayakumar, a former Institute Placement Advisor himself, said that the companies understood the problems faced and expressed great faith in the Institute’s ability to run things smoothly. The placement team also confirms the availability of bus facility from Sharav (where the placements are being held this year) to the respective hostels for students during the placement season. The placement team seems more equipped than the previous year and is working towards a more successful season.

When asked about the key takeaways from the circumstances post the December 2015 floods, Professor Sethupathi called for the students’ co-operation with the administration in ensuring the well-being of all in the event of a flood. He expressed his displeasure in the fact that students, who were provided with temporary cash relief during the 2015 floods, were yet to repay the amount to the administration. In addition, he urged that students not leave the campus without informing the administration during the floods. He also pointed out that since several students had departed from the campus without informing the hostel or mess authorities, huge amounts of food had been wasted during and post the floods in 2015. By ensuring constant communication between the students and the administration, things can be smoothly managed in the event of a flood, stressed Professor Sethupathi.

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Disclaimer: The views are not to be construed in any manner as the official views of IIT Madras.
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