Explain steps taken, proposed to prevent flood, Kerala HC tells Kochi Corp

The court took up the case pertaining to waterlogging in Kochi in view of the large-scale inundation witnessed on Thursday because of heavy rain.  

Published: 20th May 2022 06:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2022 06:56 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala rains, Cyclone Tauktae

The Kerala state disaster management authority has urged people to stay indoors and remain alert. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The High Court on Thursday directed the Kochi corporation and the head of the ‘Operation Breakthrough’ team to file a report explaining the steps taken so far, and the measures proposed, to prevent waterlogging in the city. Justice Devan Ramachandran has sought a comprehensive report so the court can “issue effective orders to ensure that such events are, as far as is practically possible, averted during this monsoon season, which is at our doorstep already”.

A waterlogged lane at Basanth
Nagar in Kochi  | A Sanesh

The court took up the case pertaining to waterlogging in Kochi in view of the large-scale inundation witnessed on Thursday because of heavy rain.  

“On account of the various orders passed by the High Court, which run into more than 20 or so, various steps were taken to mitigate the situation, which bore fruit in the years 2020 and 2021 when the city was spared of large-scale flooding.

In the meantime, flood-mitigation steps under ‘Operation Breakthrough’ completed two of its phases and this court, therefore, was under the impression that the systems would operate effectively in future also,” observed the court. However, the third phase of ‘Operation Breakthrough’ could not be completed due to various circumstances. 

“No doubt, our state received heavy rain in the last one or two days and the resultant situation was distressing because, though more or less temporary, many areas and roads went under water,” the court noted.

S Kannan, the senior government pleader, submitted that within an hour or so of the rain subsiding, the water level receded. “That indicates that the canals of Kochi have been maintained in good condition,” he said. 

The senior government pleader then added that it was for the Kochi corporation to ensure that the Perandoor canal is kept free of silt on a regular basis. An advocate pointed out that the situation in Kochi was exacerbated because some citizens do not show sufficient civic responsibility and continue to dump plastic and other waste into the canals and the sewage systems, despite knowing that it is illegal and prohibited by the High Court.

In response, Justice Devan Ramachandran said, “This court feels it necessary to remind that steps like fencing the canals would be of no effect unless the citizens understand that it is their duty to ensure that such facilities are well-maintained and kept free of debris.” 



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