KOCHI: Now that the Kerala High Court-appointed amicus curiae has blamed poor dam management for worsening the 2018 floods, Chalakkudy-based engineer Joseph N Rappai stands justified for coming out first in the open with a detailed report blaming the state government for floods.
Joseph was the first to submit a detailed letter with facts to the Kerala High Court pointing out the state government’s poor dam management for aggravating the flood that devastated the state.It was this letter addressed to Justice V Chitambaresh that was suo motu turned into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the Kerala High Court against the state government.
“My stand is justified. The government could have mitigated the floods if they had planned properly. Poor dam management aggravated the floods and it caused loss of lives and destruction of property. I still can’t understand why the government has not yet ordered any inquiry into the incident. People need to be compensated well for the loss,” Joseph told Express.
In the letter submitted to the court, Joseph submitted that dams were filled up to 70 to 80 per cent as on July 18, but the government did not do what was essential to prepare for the rain predicted for the last week of July and first three weeks of August. The authorities failed to consider the fact rivers and canals downstream were full from the July rain and water bodies were not in a position to absorb more water from dams.
“The government knew dam water must be released to accommodate rainwater as monsoon was only half over. Yet, they did not release water in mid-July, end of July or even early August,” the letter said.