The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Ernakulam District Collector — in her capacity as Chairperson of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) — to constitute a committee comprising officials of the Kochi Corporation, Kerala Water Authority, Irrigation department, Southern Railway, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), and Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) to find a lasting solution to frequent inundation of the city during rain.
On most parts of the city getting submerged during heavy rain in August 22, Justice Devan Ramachandran said it was an eye-opener for Kochi and the court. It was even worse than what was experienced during the 2018 deluge. It shows the rather tenuous and delicate nature of the city’s infrastructure, particularly its drainage system. Ordinary citizens were the worst affected, the judge said.
The judge directed the Collector to convene the committee’s first meeting not later than September 24, while a preliminary report on the drainage system must be made available to the court before September 28. The Kochi Corporation’s earlier method of cleaning drains as a pre-monsoon endeavour will have to be substituted by a systematic and methodical regular cleaning every two or three months.
The court further said that concerns voiced by the amicus curiae in his report, including with respect to the drainage system created by the CSML (as part of smart road and allied road improvement work), must also be deliberated upon and reparatory measures or suggestions should be made available by the next posting date.