April 14, 2016 05:43 IST
In a city famed for engineering education, it is for the engineers to use their knowledge and expertise to prevent disasters from causing large-scale damage, said Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal Governor.
A passion to sound warnings, which go against the contemporary trends, warnings that are difficult and unpopular, could have prevented what happened in the aftermath of the heavy downpour in the city, he said.
In his address to the graduating batch of students at the Indian Institute of Technology–Madras here on Wednesday, Mr. Gandhi urged the students to be passionate about their interests. “Quite apart from the field that you have become expert, beyond that there is something called passion – a passion distinct from what you have studied or learnt,” he said.
Passion for an issue or a cause comes from being aware of one’s environment, he explained.
Recalling the December floods he said though nature had authored a heavy downpour, its aftermath was authored by people. He said mismanagement was the copyright-holder of the floods.
“The obliteration of the natural nerve ends of the topography is the recipe for suicide. It is true of most cities. Urbanisation like earthquakes cannot be halted,” he said but by ensuring that the experts are heard over the din would prevent excessive damage following a disaster, he said.
Expressing concern that natural disasters were occurring more frequently and devastated entire cities like Kathmandu and Peshawar, he said it called for decongestion of cities, places where earthquakes are scheduled to occur.
Voicing concern about the safety of people living close to nuclear plants, which now lay in zone 4, he said, “Here we go beyond technology to planning for future in which alumni will and must play a part,” Mr. Gandhi said.
The IIT Alumni Association had organised the event to welcome the graduating students and introduce them to the network of the alumni and their social commitment to society.