Kerala HC: State should take proper steps to prevent diseases

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: 09th August 2022 at 19:42 IST

In order to properly monitor and instruct the governments to provide suitable systems for addressing emergency situations during the monsoon season, and otherwise, under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Kerala High Court filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The state administration was instructed to respond appropriately and promptly during the monsoons by a division bench led by Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly, who noted that the incessant rain had severely damaged people’s lives and property.

“Due to landslides and water depletion, Kerala’s torrential rains frequently result in calamity. Property owners in Pembroke lands, colonies, hill slopes, remote locales, plantation areas, and other areas have experienced damage.”

“To prevent calamities, the State of Kerala must act appropriately and quickly. Flooding has happened in several places as well.” the Court stated.

The Court instructed the Registry to file a suo moto petition in order to monitor the state government’s attempts to address such issues.

“In light of the aforementioned circumstances, the State or court is required by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution to effectively monitor and order the Governments to provide appropriate mechanisms for managing emergency situations during the monsoon season and other times under the terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.”

“In our opinion, Suo motu writ petition should be filed in order to hear from the Government and any other interested parties or aggrieved parties and to issue suitable instructions.” the prescribed order stated.

The Court was deliberating a petition asking it to direct the Government to form a high-level technical committee of three to four eminent engineers, with at least the Chairman and one additional member, to ensure dam safety from outside the State.

“There is now no Dam Safety Authority in the State”, according to attorney Subash Chand, who spoke on behalf of the State Dam Safety Authority, which the State Government established and extended through the adoption of the Dam Safety Act, 2021.

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating a case involving the national authority’s constitution, as it was further argued.

The group, which meets once every ten days from June to December and more frequently in the event that orange or red alerts are issued in districts with dams, was established in June of last year, senior government leader P Narayanan told the court.

It was further argued that the State has a reliable system in place to manage reservoir discharge both under normal circumstances and during very heavy downpours.

The State Government, the heads of the Power Department, the Water Resources Department, the Disaster Management Authority, and the Kerala State Electricity Board were all parties in a suo moto case that the Court chose to initiate because it believed that the situation needed to be monitored.

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