Madras HC slams CMDA, says it hasn't learnt lessons from 2015 Chennai floods

The Court came down heavily on CMDA with regard to encroachments and asked why the authority should not be dismissed.
Madras HC slams CMDA, says it hasn't learnt lessons from 2015 Chennai floods
Madras HC slams CMDA, says it hasn't learnt lessons from 2015 Chennai floods
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The Madras High Court slammed the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for its lackadaisical approach in tackling with encroachments. The Court has asked why the CMDA shouldn’t be dissolved for its inaction.

The bench consisting of Justices N Kirubakaran and Krishnan Ramasamy was hearing a petition on a church, which was built by encroaching the building belonging to the corporation in Nungambakkam, Chennai. "Is the CMDA silent after accepting money from the violators? Why can’t the CMDA which does not take actions against the violators be dissolved?” the bench asked.

Pointing to the increasing number of encroachments in Chennai, the bench expressed its disappointment at the CMDA.

“Even after the 2015 floods, why hasn’t the CMDA learnt its lesson? Why hasn’t the Chennai Corporation taken steps to drain the waterlogging as a result of yesterday’s rain? Does the Corporation and the CMDA have enough manpower to take action on the violators?” the bench asked.

The Court then ordered the CMDA and the Corporation Commissioner to appear in person on July 16 and furnish an explanation on the number of vacant positions in the CMDA and Chennai Corporation.

This order comes days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) tabled a report in the Tamil Nadu Assembly which placed the blame for the 2015 floods on the Chennai District Administration including the CMDA. Specifically mentioning that the CMDA permitted encroachments on water bodies, the report also criticised CMDA for not demarcating the floodplains to allow constructions along the waterways.

The CAG report also stated that the outflow from the Chembarambakkam reservoir was much higher than the inflow on December 1, 2015 and that the unscrupulous release of water into the Adyar river in the wee hours of December 1 caused the floods.

The report also called out the TN government for not giving importance to desilting of the waterways and that the process in 2014 and 2015 did not begin until monsoon, due to a delay in release of funds.

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