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CAG faults CMDA over 2015 Chennai floods

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The December 2015 floods here was a result of failure of CMDA, the city development authority, to check large-scale construction along waterways and illegal conversion of agricultural land and bodies, CAG said.

"failed to check large-scale constructions along waterways, which choked waterways and altered land uses in metropolitan area,it said.

Allowing conversion of agricultural land without government approval and unauthorised conversion of bodies, non-urban and Open Space and Recreation land for various other purposes resulted in drastic changes in land use and thereby contributed to the floods," the CAG said

The report of the on 'Performance Audit of Management and Response in Chennai and its Suburban Areas for the year ended March 2016' was tabled on the concluding day of the assembly session today.

The report also said the state lacked a law on Plain Zone to protect natural waterways and bodies had lesser storage capacity due to tardy implementation of restoration projects.

The December 2015 floods claimed 289 lives, inundated 23.25 lakh houses, disrupted power and telecommunication services, caused extensive damage to public and private property and brought the city to standstill for several days.

On encroachments, CAG said that despite enactment of a law in 2007 (Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act, 2007) to protect tanks from encroachment, the percentage encroachments kept increasing year after year.

"Encroachment of tanks, lakes and river beds played a major role in causing the massive floods," it said.

It said tardy implementation of a project for restoration and protection of water bodies resulted in abandoning of lakes and consequent reduction in water storage capacity of water bodies.

CAG pointed out that the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority did not meet even once since its constitution in November 2013.

It said eight projects taken up under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to provide new channels and strengthen existing ones in the metropolitan area could not be completed due to encroachments and lack of coordination between different departments.

"Inadequate coverage of Storm Water Drains (SWD) due to poor outlay, coupled with improper design and missing links in SWD networks, contributed to floods," the CAG report said.

Among recommendations made by CAG were expansion of Storm Water Drain networks and enactment of a law on Plain Zone on the lines suggested by the Centre.

"should not allow development along water bodies without ensuring ameliorating measures taken by developers to prevent the impact of such developments," the report said.

Explaining the post floods scenario,it said government conducted a special drive, evicting 4,531 of the 23,840 slum families along margins of the Adyar and Cooum rivers.

"in 2016-17 took up works to construct 292 km of SWD by earmarking Rs 463 crore. The expenditure increased from by 159 per cent," it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 20:05 IST