'Set Up High Power Panel to Study Floods': Madras HC to TN

The Madras High Court ordered the State to constitute a high powered committee to study the factors that led to the flooding in Chennai.

Published: 17th December 2015 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2015 04:27 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered notice on a PIL praying for a direction to the State government to constitute a high powered committee to study the factors that led to the flooding in Chennai. The PIL recommended that the committee be headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge and comprise government officials, technical personnel, senior advocates, scientists and environmentalists.

The First Bench of Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana ordered the notice to State government and related agencies, returnable by February 9, 2016.

In the PIL, businessman Rajiv Rai of Egmore prayed for a direction to the committee to lay down a time-bound action plan and prepare an action-plan for submission to the HC.

According to the petitioner, collusion of vested interests, a lack of political will and foresight and a lack of resources that together prevented the government from preventing hardship to citizens from the night of December 1. The PIL hopes to ensure that the authorities take all necessary and sufficient steps to prevent such a tragedy from recurring.

The citizens of Chennai, including eminent persons need to be involved in the decision-making process with respect to flooding issues in Chennai and this may include departments such as the office of the Chief Secretary, Public Works Department, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board and Chennai Corporation, the petitioner added.

Relief works Well coordinated: AG

Chennai: There is no lack of co-ordination between the TN State and the centre and necessary rescue and rehabilitation measures are being simultaneously taken, Advocate-General AL Somayaji told Madras High Court on Wednesday. He told this to the first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, when the PIL from Congress advocate AP Suryaprakasam came up. Persons wanting to contribute financially towards the rehabilitation could deposit the same with the CM’s relief fund, the AG added. The bench said the government must ensure that the funds coming for this purpose, are utilised to rehabilitate only the affected. It appointed senior advocate Yashod Vardan as amicus curie to assist the court in this matter.

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