November 10, 2021 6:56:52 am
The ruling DMK and main opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday traded charges on inundation woes in the metropolis with Chief Minister MK Stalin accusing the previous government led by K Palaniswami of inaction and ‘corruption’ for the water-logging here and announced a Commission of Inquiry to look into the matter.
The principal opposition party, rejected the allegation and accused the DMK government of spreading slander and for not taking preventive measures to prevent the deluge here.
There was a decline in rainfall here on Tuesday and in adjoining districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengelpet.
Stalin, who inspected several affected areas for the third consecutive day here and distributed flood relief and food to the affected people said action continued in respect of providing food, shelter and medical assistance to the affected people.
Asked if water-logging has receded in the city, the Chief Minister squarely blamed the previous AIADMK government for the current scenario.
The CM told reporters: “It has receded to an extent, but not fully. This is because the previous government received several crores from the Centre under the Smart City Mission. We don’t what they did with that.”
Under the previous AIADMK regime, ‘no work’ was carried out by the local administration department led by former Minister Velumani, he said.
“It is however very clear that they got commission,” he alleged.
“We are managing, working and tackling the situation. After completion of (rain-related) work, an appropriate inquiry commission will be set up to look into this matter,” Stalin said.
To a question on action against contractors, the Chief Minister said, “for sure action will be taken.”
Stalin monitored work at several locations aimed at pumping out stagnant water, which is coordinated by the civic agency, police, fire and rescue and the Public works department.
The Chief Minister also announced that food would be served to people free of cost in the state-run Amma Canteens till rains receded.
Former Chief Minister and top AIADMK leader, K Palaniswami, who visited affected areas for the second successive day here dismissed Stalin’s allegations as defamatory.
Chief Minister Stalin’s allegation was a deliberate attempt to spread defamatory views against the previous AIADMK regime and sideline its achievements, Palaniswami said.
Under the Smart City Mission, priority was accorded for setting up infrastructure to drain flood water during his party-led regime, the AIADMK leader said, adding several on-going initiatives in many corporations now were part of such an overall scheme.
He said the foundation stone laid by the Chief Minister for an infra scheme, to bale out rain water in his Kolathur constituency here was initiated during the AIADMK regime under a Rs 65 crore plan.
Underscoring initiatives taken up during his regime, Palaniswami listed schemes implemented with funding from various agencies. The AIADMK top leader made a specific mention about the Rs 1,385 crore Adyar-Cooum plan here to prevent flooding and drain flood water.
Palaniswami blamed the DMK government for inundation woes and accused the incumbent regime for not taking precautionary action, to prevent water logging.
He alleged that officials have not even visited several affected areas, and sought immediate action to bale out water from low-lying areas.
On appointment of IAS officials to monitor relief work, Palaniswami said, “this is delayed action, had precautionary measures been taken, people would not have been affected.”
For the past three days, people were hit hard and struggling to cope with inundation in many areas and rain water has entered houses, Palaniswami said.
In affected areas, people do not have access to drinking water, food and medical assistance, he claimed and demanded that the government take swift action.
Rejecting the accusation of politicisation of monsoon woes, he said, “you are seeing water stagnation, I am telling the truth.”
The leader of opposition in the Assembly said his views were based on feedback from the people.
“We have no intention of politicising, we have to do good deeds for the people,” he said and urged the government to take steps to address the grievances of the people affected by rains.
Only due to the initiatives like desilting operations in Adyar and Cooum River, implemented during the AIADMK regime, several north Chennai regions have seen rainwater receding quickly, he said answering a question on a court related matter.
Palaniswami said the state government should apprise the court about the action taken already by the AIADMK government on this front.
During the AIADMK regime, the desilting initiatives used to begin well in advance in August, ahead of the onset of north east monsoon, he said.
“The government should have removed silt in advance. The DMK government did not pay attention to this and that is why the Chennai people have been severely affected,” he alleged.
Palaniswami, along with other AIADMK leaders, distributed welfare assistance to the affected people.
In a letter to Modi, he said, apart from relief and rescue operations, ex-gratia payments have to be made for the damage to huts and dwellings in affected areas.
“In addition to this, reconstruction of public infrastructure shall also be carried out. I therefore request you to issue suitable instructions to the Ministry of Finance for release of funds to Tamil Nadu so as to carry out timely rescue, relief and rehabilitation operation.”
From the night of November 6, Chennai and several northern regions of Tamil Nadu experienced heavy to very heavy rainfall till Monday.
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