CAG Terms 2015 Chennai Floods As “Man Made” Disaster, Blames TN Govt. For Mismanagement: Coming down heavily on the Tamil Nadu Government, for its failure to implement sustainable water management practices which had caused the Chennai floods in December 2015, which claimed over 500 lives, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report has termed the deluge as a man-made disaster and held the TN State responsible for the scale of the catastrophe.
The CAG report titled “Flood Management and response in Chennai and its suburban areas was tabled by the TN Government on the last day of the budget session which pinpointed how the Water Resources Department has failed to act with responsibility.
Citing indiscriminate discharge of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir which led to breaches in many places in Adayar River, and then flooding the report said: “that at about 2 pm on December 1, 2005, the discharge was phenomenally raised from 12,000 cusecs to 20,960 cusecs.”
“If the discharge could have been maintained at 12,000 cusecs for another six hours, the heavy flooding of the city could have been prevented and heavy human cost avoided,” said the report.
Blaming the Water Resources Department for lacking in any emergency action plan and the Government’s failure to update the system as prescribed by Central Water Commission, the CAG pointed its fingers at the water managers for discharging water in an unsustainable manner at the midnight hours when the whole city was sleeping.
“The compendium of rules and regulations was not revised by WRD even though the height of the tank was raised to 24 feet. Contingency flood prevention measures were not put in place despite recommendations to the effect by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, which suggested two tanks above Chembarambakkam reservoir” the CAG report noted.
“Even though the North West Monsoon Expert committee recommended construction of two check dams in the downstream of the lake before it empties into Adyar River, the Government did not heed the appeal.” The CAG report said.
It may be recalled that the massive watery deluge blanketed the city of Chennai, in which over 500 people died and over 5000 cattle perished due to incessant rains and the indiscriminate release of waters into the Adyar River, from Chembarambakkam Lake.