Former Gujarat IAS officer V. Thiruppugazh has now been appointed to lead an advisory panel on mitigation and management of flood risk in the city, by the DMK government in Tamil Nadu.
Considered to be a close aid of Prime Minister Modi, Thiruppugazh had initially served as PM’s secretary when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In 1991, Thiruppugazh served in the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority and was later promoted as Additional Secretary (Policy and Plan) in the NDMA, of which PM Modi is the ex-officio chairperson. Thiruppugazh is the sibling of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary V. Iran Anbu.
While in NDMA, he had led a team to visit Chennai and Kancheepuram in June 2017. His team’s findings were a part of the report titled “Tamil Nadu Floods – Lessons Learnt & Best Practices”, which was published by the NDMA.
The appointment comes after the governor of the state announced the formation of the Committee on October 22. They noted that Chennai is prone to natural disasters and cyclones because of its flat terrain and most of the area is at the average elevation of 2m above the mean Sea Level. While some areas were even below sea level.
The Guv identified that three districts, namely Chenalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, had over 2500 tanks and all the water via these tanks was discharged through Adyar, Koyalam, Kosasthalaiyar and Kovalam river. They further pointed out that the combined hydrological effects of all these factors made it tough to manage the inundation and de-watering during monsoon.
Following this, the Guv while addressing the Assembly announced that a Chennai Metro Flood Management Committee will be formed. The committee will comprise experts in environment, urban planning and disaster management which will direct towards flood controlling methods and design stormwater drains to reduce the impact of the floods.
The Governor in his address to the Assembly announced that a Chennai Metro Flood Management Committee, comprising experts in environment, urban planning and disaster management, would be established to devise flood control methods and design stormwater drains in order to reduce the detrimental impact of floods.