‘Unprepared’: CAG Report Slams TN Govt Over 2015 Chennai Floods
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the 2015 Chennai floods that caused a huge loss of life and property were man-made and the government was simply not prepared to meet the contingency.
The report, tabled in the Assembly on Monday, 9 July, came down heavily on the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for permitting encroachment on water bodies, reported the Times of India. The buildings that were built on water-bodies include CMDA’s own buildings.
It also criticised CMDA’s second master plan for not demarcating the floodplains to allow constructions along the waterways.
The report also mentions the release of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river, which is alleged to be the cause of flash floods in the wee hours of 1 December 2015.
The report stated that the outflow was more than the inflow in Chembarambakkam reservoir and that the water was never stored up to the full limit of the reservoir.
The report also calls out the inaction of the State Disaster Management Authority which did not meet even once since its formation in 2013.
Calling out the Tamil Nadu government for not giving due importance to de-silting of waterways, the report said that in 2014 and 2015, de-silting was not started before the monsoons due to delay in the release of funds.
The CAG also put forth recommendations to prevent such situations from occurring in the future. The recommendations include enacting laws to minimise the effects of construction on floodplains and to coordinate with other departments to remove encroachments along the city’s waterways.
Chennai received unprecedented rainfall in December 2015 leading to major floods which threw the city out of gear. As many as 300 people are said to have lost their lives during to the floods. Economic losses were pegged around $2.2 billion, as per an international study.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)