Kerala rains: HC directs Disaster Management Authority to ensure necessary measures

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Kochi: Kerala High Court directed the officers of the Disaster Management Authority and the Corporation of Kochi that they must ensure every necessary measure is taken and completed on a war footing in the wake of heavy rains and expected flooding in the city.

The court also observed that this will not cause deleterious consequences to the citizens in the next one or two days in the heavy rains that are expected.

Single Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran directed this while taking note of the reports of flooding of the city on account of the rains this morning.

The Court also directed the District Collector, Corporation of Kochi and Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) to file reports separately to the Court and made it clear that they will be free to suggest remedial measures. This shall be submitted before August 4, which is the next hearing date.

It also directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) appearing for the Railways to instruct a competent officer to work in tandem with the District Collector and the Corporation, to ensure that all the culverts are kept free, as was done in the last couple of years, including by jetting it. The bench directed the ASGI to tell the progress to the Court on the next posting date.

In the order, Court observed, "What is worrying to this Court is that there are warnings of heavier rains in the next few days also. This year, we are again facing flooding, though not in the scale as in the year of 2018, but which, on account of the heavier rains that we expect, can manifest a problem. The city saw vast flooding in the morning. If the canals are ready to receive the rainfall and did not flood then certainly, the problem lies within the internal drainage system of the city."

"It is for the Corporation of Kochi to have control over the situation. The District Collector, who is also the Chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority, also has a certain role to play in this. Since the alerts of the heavy rains have already been put out, it is essential that all the stakeholders must be at the ground level to evaluate and take immediate steps as and when it becomes necessary. Wherever the drains have to be cleared and inlets to be kept open, action for the same shall be taken and the Corporation shall depute enough number of persons on the ground level to accomplish this," it added.


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