The amicus curiae appointed by the Kerala High
Court has filed a report stating that main cause behind 2018 Kerala floods was
heavy rainfall but poor dam management aggravated the damage during floods. The
Kerala HC had appointed an amicus curiae based on a public interest litigation
filed by former bureaucrat E. Sreedharan.
The amicus curiae has informed the court that
the sudden release of water simultaneously from different reservoirs during the
extreme rainfall aggravated flooding conditions.
The report has pointed out that the dams in Kerala
did not have an effective flood control zone and flood cushions. It also noted
that none of the 79 dams in the State were operated or used for the purpose of
flood control and moderation. The National Water Policy, National Disaster
Management Authority guidelines on flood and RTIO (real-time integrated
operation) put obligations on dam operators to use dams for the purpose of
flood control and moderation.
The report also observed that the dams did not have
EAP (Emergency Action Plan) despite the mandate of the National Disaster
Management Authority to have it by 2009. EAP is a formal document prepared by the
dam operator which contains identifies potential emergency conditions at a dam
and specifies actions to be followed to prevent or lessen the impact in the
case of a dam failure.
The report further stated that various alerts
(blue/orange/red) were not issued in accordance with the EAP guidelines.
Further, no proper follow-up action and effective precautionary steps were
taken after red alert.
The amicus curiae has suggested a more detailed
inquiry into the Kerala floods by an independent expert committee