A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted the State government three weeks’ time to construct new drains at Chottanikkara.

The Bench comprising Justice S. Siri Jagan and Justice K. Harilal observed that if the Chottanikkara temple or the hoteliers acted in violation of the law, the secretary of Chottanikkara panchayat or the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) could take appropriate action against them as warranted by the law.

The court made it clear that it was entirely up to the authorities concerned to take steps to alleviate the suffering of the public.

Counsel for the State government contended that the RDO had taken stringent action against the hoteliers after they had emptied waste into the public drains.

Counsel for the panchayat submitted that the situation had worsened after the temple authorities emptied waste water from its inn into the drains.

The directives were issued on a petition filed by Subash of Cherthala, a devotee. According to him, when he visited the temple and sought a room in the inn, the Devaswom official told him that the inn was closed on the directive of the panchayat. The hotels around the temple had also downed shutters.

The petitioner sought a court directive to the government to construct adequate number of sewers at Chottanikkara.

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