Writ seeks basic facilities for the islanders

A Division bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday admitted a petition filed by the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA) seeking a directive to the State government to provide basic facilities such as drinking water and proper roads to the inhabitants of islands under the Kadamakudy grama panchayat in Kochi.

The social justice litigation was admitted by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran

It was for the first time that KELSA has filed a social justice litigation under section 4(d) of the Legal Services Authority Act.

According to KELSA, the Kadamakudy grama panchayat comprised of nine islands. Most of the people living in the islands belonged to the economically backward section. They did not have adequate drinking water, shelter and proper roads. Despite repeated requests, the authorities had not been able to provide such facilities. The KWA had been providing drinking water to the people of the islands. But with the increase in population, the present supply of water was inadequate. Counsel appearing for KELSA, Subash Chand, pointed out that the proposed water supply project by the Goshree Island Development Authority (GIDA) was yet to take off. The underground water sources in the islands could not be used due to contamination from sewage. In fact, the islands did not have a proper system of drainage. They also faced water logging problem during the monsoon.

Yet another problem encountered by the inhabitants was lack of medical facilities. They depended on a primary health centre at Pizhala, which was in a bad shape. Roads also needed to be repaired. As the islands came under the CRZ notification, the people living in the area could not construct houses within 50 metres from the brink of the islands. The petitioner sought a directive to the government to exempt these islanders from the purview of the CRZ notification.

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