The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the 2015 Chennai floods that caused huge loss of men and material were man-made and the government was simply not prepared to meet the contingency.
The report, tabled in the Assembly on Monday, 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 includes 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 December 1, 2015.
The report stated that the outflow was more than the inflow in Chembarambakkam reservoir and that water was never stored up to the full limit of the reservoir.
“The government had an opportunity to store 0.268 tmc in the Chembarambakkam tank and 12,000 cusecs of discharge could have been maintained for six hours instead of releasing 20,960 to 29,000 cusecs, the report said, blaming the then Jayalalithaa administration.
The report also calls out the inaction of the State Disaster Management Authority which did not meet even once since its formation in 2013, the ToI report states.
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 monsoon due to delay in the release of funds.
The CAG also put forth recommendations to prevent such situations from occurring in the future. Some of 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. Around 300 people lost their lives to the floods, despite lack of clarity over the figures. Economic losses were pegged at around $2.2 billion, as per an international study.