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Form task force to end waterlogging menace in Kochi city: HC


Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to constitute a task force, comprising top officials, to end the menace of waterlogging being faced by Kochi city during rains.

The Court also ordered the government to issue an order regarding this within 10 days.

It suggested that the taskforce comprise the Principal Secretary of Local Self Government, Secretary of Kochi City Corporation, Cochin Smart Mission, Kerala Water Authority, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Railways, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) with Ernakulam district collector to be its convenor and liaison officer.

It, however, allowed the government to reduce or expand the number of the officials to be included in the taskforce.

Considering the matter, Justice Devan Ramachandran appreciated the state government for the steps taken by it on Monday for clearing drainage.

The High Court, however, criticised the City Corporation Council for its inaction.

The Court did not accept the arguments by the counsel for the City corporation that the rain water and high tides in the backwaters in Kochi were the reasons for the water logging.

The Court hailed the District Administrations Operation Breakthrough, an initiative to ensure better coordination among different departments to end the menace of flooding in the city.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had issued directions to the district administration to initiate urgent steps under the project to prevent waterlogging in Kochi.

Earlier, the Advocate General assuredthe High Court that steps would be taken to end the menace.

The developments come a day after Kochi city corporation was pulled up for its alleged inaction in clearing drainages causing flood-like waterlogging in the city during the heavy rains that hit the state on Monday.

Observing that thousands of people living here were still affected by waterlogging due to Monday's rains, it had said there was no one to take care of the poor.

Blaming the civic body for the deluge in the city, Justice Devan Ramachandran had sought to know why the state government was not using the power vested under the Municipal Act to dissolve the inactive City Corporation council.

The Court made the observation when the amicus curiae in the Perandoor Canal cleaning case drew its attention to the waterlogging situation.

Life in the city and its immediate suburbs was thrown out of gear on Monday after waterlogging following heavy rains.

Many houses and commercial establishments in the city, including M G Road, Banerjee Road, Kaloor, Panampally Nagar, Ernakulam South and Edappally were inundated in the rains leaving residents and shop owners stranded.

Many areas in Kochi were declared flood affected by the Ernakulam district administration and camps were opened to relocate the people affected by rains.

Rail and road traffic in the state were affected due to the rains.

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