KOCHI: Metro Man E Sreedharan, who is also the president of Foundation for Restoration of National Values, New Delhi, on Monday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the devastating mid-August deluge, which claimed more than 470 lives, was a manmade disaster.
The petition stated he had approached the government citing the need for a comprehensive technical study of the reasons for the flood happened in August last year. Even three months after sending the letter to the Chief Minister and Kerala Planning Board vice-chairman, no action has been taken. This inaction from the government was due to the fear in the minds of the authorities that their omissions and commissions would be exposed and individuals and the government itself would be held responsible for the tragedy.
Sreedharan sought a directive to set up a high-level technical committee consisting of three or four eminent engineers to unravel the factors which led to the unprecedented floods. This would enable the country to be better equipped to deal with similar calamities in the future. The state government is duty-bound to ensure that a similar disaster does not happen in the future.
Sreedharan pointed out that red alerts were not taken seriously by the dam authorities. Following a series of droughts, dam authorities were anxious to impound as much water as possible before opening the shutters. The petition further stated that absence of a scientific study also intensified the damage.
Lack of coordination was also there between different dam authorities and also the absence of data to compute the combined effect of more than one dam being opened. There was no centralised agency to coordinate releases from different dams.
Unauthorised structures within the river regime blocking the natural flow of water was the main reason for Aluva river to overflow. Manmade bunds and inadequate discharge capacity of the gates of the Vembanad Lake caused floodwaters to rise in Kuttanad region.
Govt will look into flood relief complaints: CM
T’Puram: The government will favourably consider the complaints regarding flood relief, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. The government is examining 54,792 appeal applications and they will be disposed of in a time-bound manner, he said. The Chief Minister was replying to a poser by V D Satheesan MLA in the Assembly on Monday. “A total of 6,87,843 families were given `10,000 each. Of them, 77,041 received the money after filing appeal petitions. This means the government is adopting a favourable stand towards the eligible people left out from the list,” he said. The CM also assured to look into the complaints on compensation for damage caused to houses.