'Poor' dam management: Oppn seeks judicial probe

'Poor' dam management: Oppn seeks judicial probe

A view of Idukki dam. PTI file photo

The Congress-led opposition in Kerala on Friday reiterated its demand for a judicial investigation into circumstances that led to flooding in the state earlier this month.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala met Governor P Sathasivam and handed over a petition stating that unscientific management of dams caused the flooding. “Shutters of all the dams were opened together, setting off the flood. The government failed in issuing timely alerts and evacuating people,” Chennithala said.

During a specially convened Legislative Assembly session on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had maintained that torrential rain, three times more than what was forecast, between August 9 and 15 had caused the flood, a contention countered in the House by the Opposition.

The Opposition demanded an exclusive account to collect funds for flood relief. At present, the contributions are made to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The Opposition also sought constitution of a tribunal to ensure prompt disbursal and rehabilitation of the affected.

A statement from Raj Bhavan said the governor has forwarded the petition to the chief minister “for appropriate consideration and action”.

The death toll in flooding and related incidents since August 8 is 334. The figure since the onset of the southwest monsoon, on May 29, is 486. As on Friday morning, a total of 31,173 people were living in 245 camps. Rehabilitation continued to be slow-paced in the severely-hit Alappuzha where 17,805 people remained inmates in 92 camps.