Chennai floods: Authorities face Madras HC heat as death toll rises

Chennai floods: Authorities face Madras HC heat as death toll rises

Taking a jibe at the state government’s preparedness to deal with floods and water scarcity in Chennai, the Madras High Court (HC) on Tuesday said it would automatically file a case against the Greater Chennai Corporation if the waterlogging did not improve by the end. can take into account. of week.

“For half a year we are forced to cry for water. The other half, we are made to die in it,” the Madras HC said while hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the state government to maintain adequate width for the roads.

This tough stand of the court comes at a time when five people have died in rain-related incidents so far.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert in the state for the next two days. IMD has warned that due to the low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal, light to moderate rain is likely at most places over the state; Heavy to very heavy rain may occur in other areas. The current floods have damaged 538 huts and inundated many houses.

The court also said that the corporation should have learned a lesson from the 2015 floods, which devastated the area (500 people were killed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh). Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesvalu, who were part of the hearing, also pointed out that encroachment of water bodies was a major cause of the flood situation.

Chennai officials do not seem to be learning a lesson from the past. “Chennai floods are yet another testimony of human-induced climate change that is destroying lives and livelihoods. The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) recently released Climate Vulnerability Index has ranked Chennai as one of the most climate-sensitive districts. Flawed urban planning and large-scale destruction of natural ecosystems such as mangroves and wetlands have increased the impact of these extreme rainfall events,” said Abinash Mohanty, Program Lead, CEEW.

Mohanty said, “Increasing community action with impact-based public alerting, restoring natural ecosystems in vulnerable areas and a renewed focus on risk-financing can build local resilience and avoid the extent of loss and damage.” could.”

According to a study by Anna University, the main reason for the depletion of groundwater in Chennai is due to a 75 percent decline in water bodies from 12.6 sq (sq) kilometers (km) in 1893 to 3.2 sq km in 2017.

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