The Madras High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Greater Chennai Corporation for flooding in the city due to heavy rain and said that it would start suo motu proceedings if the situation did not improve soon, The Hindu reported.
Chennai and several other parts of Tamil Nadu have been receiving heavy rainfall since Saturday, leading to waterlogging and damage to homes. At least five people have died because of the rain and over 1,400 have been moved to relief camps.
On Tuesday, the Madras High Court brought up the flooding in Chennai while hearing a public interest litigation on removing encroachments to ensure that roads in the city are wide enough, The New Indian Express
“What have you been doing since 2015 floods?” Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu asked the Chennai civic body, according to NDTV. “It is a pity that half the year we long for water and rest of the year we are flooded or die in water.”
The floods in Chennai in 2015 were the worst the city had experienced in a century. The floods had killed 289 people, submerged 23.25 lakh homes, disrupted power and telecommunication services and caused extensive damage to public and private property.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Justice Audikesavalu said that the encroachment of water bodies was mainly causing flooding in Chennai, The Hindu reported. He said that Chennai’s civic body should have taken necessary steps to avoid such a situation.
“We are not a backward state,” the judge said. “We are the most advanced state on many parameters. This cannot be the state of a leading state in the country.”
The judge pointed out that in some cases, the state government itself had allegedly encroached upon water bodies.