The Amicus curiae submitted a 49-page report on Wednesday, which indicted the ruling CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Kerala floods worsened by faulty dam management Amicus curiae wants judicial probe
news Floods Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 07:48

In a setback to the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, a report submitted by an Amicus curiae to the Kerala High Court on Wednesday recommended a judicial probe into the cause of the worst-ever floods to hit the state in August last year after it found that faulty dam management led to the flooding.

After going through 15 different petitions seeking a judicial probe into the cause of the floods, the Kerala High Court had last year appointed an Amicus curiae, senior advocate Alex P. Thomas, to help the court dispose the bunch of petitions.

The Amicus curiae submitted a 49-page report on Wednesday, which indicted the ruling CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for failing to use the dams to control the floods following heavy rains.

The report states that lapse in dam management- high reservoir storage and sudden release of water- worsened the flood situation in the state. 

After taking into consideration many other reports that studied the Kerala floods, including a report by the Central Water Commission, the Amicus Curiae concluded that none of the 79 dams were used for the purpose of flood control or moderation. 

The report further said that the reservoirs had been full even before the deluge from August 14 to August 18 and they could not hold any more water. It also said that the sudden release of water aggravated the issue and that even the warnings were not given in accordance with the rules. The report also concluded that none of the dams in Kerala had maintained a Flood Control Zone.

“An independent expert enquiry committed headed by former Judge of a superior court and preferably consisting of reputed hydrologist experts in dam management engineers and other experts may be appointed to enquire into the Kerala floods of 2018,” said the report.

Last year's severe floods, which began with rains in May-end and continued till the middle of August, claimed 433 lives and at the height of the deluge, there were 14.50 lakh people in over 3,000 relief camps. Various agencies had assessed the total damage caused by the floods in excess of Rs 30,000 crore.

In Kerala, while the majority of the 80 dams are operated by the Water Resources Department, the rest are operated by the Kerala State Electricity Board.

State Power Minister M.M. Mani refused to comment when the media sought his remarks on the report.

Meanwhile, leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has demanded that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should come out with an explanation.

"Soon after the floods occurred, we had said that faulty dam management led to the flooding. We had termed it a 'man-made disaster' and now we have been proven true by this report. We are now waiting to hear what Vijayan has to say," said Chennithala.

With IANS inputs

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.