Chennai rains: Tamil Nadu opposition join forces, seek probe over water release

 Karunanidhi alleged that the devastating floods in Chennai was caused by the "neglectful, anti-people administration of the Jayalalithaa.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu's Opposition parties Friday joined hands in seeking a probe over release of surplus waters from Chembarambakkam reservoir here, with DMK chief Karunanidhi submitting a memorandum to Governor K Rosaiah, seeking an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into the issue.

Even as the state continued its relief work, Karunanidhi alleged that the devastating floods in Chennai was caused by the "neglectful, anti-people administration of the Jayalalithaa headed Tamil Nadu government", resulting in the death of innocent people and damage to property.

The crux of the opposition charge and also in a section of media, is that in the last week of November when Chennai witnessed moderate showers, the discharge volume from Chembarambakkam reservoir was trammeled.

After the heavy rainfall on December 1, a huge volume of surplus water -- approximately 29,000 cusecs in a short span of time was let out, resulting in heavy flooding in Chennai.

Against this backdrop, Karunanidhi alleged that the Public Works Department did not take any "precautionary steps" for staggered release of water in advance, despite forecast of heavy rains and experts' caution over the dam's capacity.

Seeking a probe, he said, "I urge you to constitute a Commission of Inquiry headed by a sitting High Court Judge to go into the delayed opening of the sluice gates of Chembarambakkam reservoir."

The DMK chief also wanted the inquiry commission to fix responsibility for the alleged delayed opening of the dam and determine compensation for the flood-hit people.

He also wanted the probe to cover CM Jayalalithaa, her Cabinet colleagues and top officials under the canons of "command responsibility."

Later, speaking to reporters, he said Governor had informed him that he would take appropriate action after going into the memorandum.

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