Amicus curiae report on Kerala floods not final: CM

Kollam: “The international community in general and various expert communities have appreciated the way the state had dealt with the floods. Rejecting all these, the report prepared by an advocate, appointed by the court to assist it, has been described as real and scientific,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday and rejected the report submitted by amicus curiae appointed by the High Court on the August floods.

The CM further stated that the report was prepared without consulting all stakeholders and so it was not the final one. He alleged that the report was being used by some people to divert public sentiments against the government during the election time.

Speaking at a meet-the-press programme, Vijayan urged the people to resist any attempt to put the rehabilitation initiatives taken by the government. The government’s efforts had won world-wide recognition.

More than 400 people had died in the August floods and the High Court-appointed amicus curiae had pointed out that lapses in dam management had aggravated the impact even further. An inquiry was asked to be conducted by an expert committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge. The amicus curiae was appointed by the court based on seeral petitions alleging that the devastating floods was a man-made disaster.

“This amounted to insulting the court. Because they are consciously covering up the fact that it is not the amicus curiae, but the court which has to take final decision on the report and pronounce the verdict,” said the CM.

He also rejected the charges that the dams were opened without any prior alert. He stated that the observation that the simultaneous release of water from different reservoirs had caused the floods was not logical.

“The dams were opened after giving timely alerts. Even media had appreciated the precautions taken by the government before opening the sluice gates of the reservoirs including Idukki,” he said.

Vijayan also pointed out that the agencies like Chennai IIT and the Central Water Commission had already come to a scientific conclusion that excessive rainfall had caused the floods.

In the 49-page-report, amicus curiae, Jacob P Alex, had stated that none of the 79 dams in the southern state were operated or used for the purpose of flood control or moderation, as per the stipulations under the National Water Policy, National Disaster Management Authority guidelines on floods and similar directives. The report, submitted to the High Court, also recommended a detailed probe into the floods by an independent expert committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge and a hydrologist, dam management experts and engineers as members.

NT Bureau