We went to DLF IT Park on Friday, the 10th of December. We were 9 in all – 6 of us from F.I.T.E and 3 were law activists. As we stood adjacent to the platform and at least 20 meters away discussing about the plan for investigation, the in-charge of security at DLF came towards us and ordered to dismantle our huddle or do it far away. The place where we stood since no way was associated to DLF, we didn’t accept to move and so the scene of huddle transformed into a scene of confrontation with the security at DLF entrance. More than 15 police officers were deployed at the entrance and the security in-charge took their help in driving us away. The police were not harsh and tried to calm us down and also leave the place to which we didn’t budge. It is this volatile situation amongst the security guards and the default generic statement issued by them gives us the impression of a cover up activity. After some time, one of us was allowed to go in and meet Suresh Babu – the security head who gave the statement that no casualties due to floods and it is because of employees safety that the security is beefed up. We were not allowed to go any further than a few meters from the entrance but we got the status quo from other sources.
Movement of people at DLF appeared better on Friday than it was compared to the previous days’ of the week. Every help desk of companies present in the entrance pathway had few employees doing enquiry. Crane and Tata Ace vehicles were going in and coming out from the vehicle entrance. Recovered vehicles covered completely with mud and some with water dripping down were noticed. The near by Tea shops operated only for few hours due to low inflow of customers. North Indian security guards from DLF were coming out and going in – one person at a time and not in groups, buying themselves tea from shop a little far from the entrance. Insurance authorities were known to be inside doing surveillance of the damages incurred. After more than 90 minutes of struggle, Television journalists were allowed to go in.
After investigation from various sources, we can arrive at some results yielding due to corroboration of sources. Two out of three levels of basements at DLF whose usage is for 2 and 4 Wheelers parking is still submerged under water; only one level is cleared and the vehicles currently brought outside should be from that level. There should be a minimum of 500 cars and 800 motorbikes trapped inside these two levels. Much of the inflow of water had come during Wednesday (2nd December) after the opening of Chembarambakkam lake. The water might have come from both the front side (natural way of entering) and also the backside where reportedly some local residents have damaged the perimeter walls of DLF to release the water logged in their places. The parking area alone would constitute more than 20 acres with the third level basement alone having a height of 46 feet. So even if DLF pumps out water continuously, it should take minimum this weekend to complete the evacuation of its two levels of basements with water. We or our friendlier organizations have still not heard about reports of missing employees of any companies. We are still campaigning to hear any cases of employees who are still not to be seen after the floods at all IT parks – DLF, Olympia, SEZ etc. We shall take into account very seriously and plunge in to further action if there are any such cases heard by us. What is disturbing to comprehend is the safety of our North Indian Security guards who were working in this DLF facility during the floods. Apart from the guards, House keeping personnel and cab drivers may use the basement frequently. The cab drivers being local Tamil people if missing might be in the talks amongst people and might have reached media anytime. There is enough probability that this could also have been silenced or buried down. But this would remain a speculation until clear evidence can be found. House keeping personnel might not have been assigned with any serious works to do at the basements which was continuously being inundated with floods. But during the continuous rains on December 1st (Tuesday), employees were reportedly told to be accompanied by guards to the basements to retrieve their vehicles before the floods brought in by opening of lake flooded the DLF park along with complete drowning of its basements. Even though we were said that there are multiple exit points in the basement for employees and guards to arrive at the top, imagining (and hearing from witnesses) the force at which the flood water would have arrived at the basements (with no lights present) makes us contemplate about the possibility of misfortune incidents, possibly to the guards who might have used it frequently. The way DLF handled media – by maintaining a authoritative/arrogant silence post to the havoc created by floods increases the doubts. We at F.I.T.E at this point of time shall say that truth cannot be hidden for a longer period of time and will anyway find its way out eventually.