Political war erupts in Kerala as floods recede

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Aug 2018 08:21:41


 

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,

 

“It was a man-made disaster. The flood situation worsened not because of the downpour, but due to the opening of shutters of 44 dams at a time without giving prior warning,” Leader of Opposition in Kerala Chennithala said


AS THE operations to rescue those stranded in rain-ravaged areas in Kerala near completion, a political war erupted on Wednesday with Congress-led UDF Opposition and BJP blaming the State Government for a “man-made disaster”.
Training its guns on the Left-led State Government, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala demanded a judicial probe into the circumstances that led to opening of shutters of 40-odd dams at a time in the State.


“The Government had no idea which areas would be submerged when 9 dams across the Pamba river, 11 dams in the Periyar in Idukki and Ernakulam districts and six across Chalakudy river in Thrissur were opened,” he said.
Though there was an increase of 41.44 per cent rainfall this time, the flood situation worsened not because of the downpour, but due to the opening of shutters of 44 dams at a time without giving prior warning, the Congress leader alleged. “It was a man-made disaster,” Chennithala said.


Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) State President P S Sreedharan Pillai also blamed the Pinarayi Vijayan Government for the deluge and said there was “lack of foresight” on part of the State.


However, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) chairman K P Sreedharan Nair denied the allegations, saying there was no lapse on part of the board which owns the dams and that they were opened only after enough alerts were issued.


There is no point in blaming the board for opening the dams as most of the rivers were overflowing due to heavy rains, he said. Terming the charges as “baseless,” Dam Safety Chairman C N Ramachandran Nair said, “Everyone knows water was rising in the reservoirs and rivers were in spate. Now the allegations are being levelled only for the sake of blaming somebody”.


Cochin airport to open on August 29: THE Cochin International Airport, shut on August 15 due to floods, will reopen on August 29, it was announced on Wednesday.
The airport had said on Tuesday that it would resume operations on August 26.


The airport was closed on August 15 after it was flooded when various dams in Idukki district opened their sluice gates in the wake of torrential rains.