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Same Story All Over: As Mumbai Drowns, CAG Says Chennai Floods a Man-Made Disaster

The 127-page report blamed the AIADMK government in the state for not following the recommendations on emergency situations and also called for a detailed inquiry into the handling of Chembarambakkam reservoir.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 9, 2018, 6:32 PM IST
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Same Story All Over: As Mumbai Drowns, CAG Says Chennai Floods a Man-Made Disaster
The 2015 Chennai floods had killed around 350 people and rendered thousands homeless. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Chennai: On a day when torrential rain and civic apathy once again brought normal life in Mumbai to a standstill, a Comptroller and Auditor General Report has faulted the Tamil Nadu government for the Chennai floods of 2015 and dubbed it as a man-made disaster.

The 127-page report blamed the AIADMK government in the state for not following the recommendations on emergency situations and also called for a detailed inquiry into the handling of Chembarambakkam reservoir.

The 2015 floods had killed around 350 people and rendered thousands homeless. The release of water from the Chembarambakkam Lake without any warning had added to the woes as thousands had lost their belongings and the suburbs were totally inundated.

"Water resource department did not acquire land to operate Chembarambakkam reservoir to full capacity. An abrupt and uncontained release of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir contributed to the massive disaster. Imprudent and injudicious action by tank in charge warrants detailed enquiry," the report noted.

The report also pointed that wireless communication systems were not functioning at the time of floods and this compounded the situation.

"Wireless communication facility was not working for six months before Dec 2015 floods. On Dec 1, 2015, when inflow was more, necessary communication could not be made using the wireless communication devices,” the CAG report said.

The CAG further said that no records were made available for audit to ascertain the fact that the tank in charge had communicated with the authorities on the incoming flood before releasing the water.

It added that the state government did not follow up on the recommendations of various agencies formed by state and central government.

“Recommendations were not given the importance by government of Tamil Nadu to mitigate the floods arising due to North East Monsoon which resulted in unprecedented floods in Chennai and its suburbs during Dec 2015,” he said.

It also pointed out that two tanks that were to be built upstream of Chembarambakkam tank were never constructed and a proposal to build a reservoir across Adyar river was also dropped. “The failure of WRD (Water Resources Department) in execution of other structural measures were not considered by the government,” it said.

The report said all the factors put together indicate that it was a man-made disaster. "Unless the Govt of Tamil Nadu takes full charge of mitigating the contribution factors leading to December floods, another disaster cannot be ruled out," it warned.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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