The Supreme Court on Thursday took a serious view of Tamil Nadu's failure to file a compliance report and directed it to provide drinking water facility in all its schools on or before October 11.
A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma gave this direction after State counsel B. Balaji said that as he was appointed counsel after the change of government, he had to take instructions. The Bench asked the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit in two weeks.
Acting on a petition filed by the Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation, the Bench passed an order on April 29, directing that potable water be made available in all schools of all the States.
On Thursday, the Bench said: “The order passed by this court is clear that all the States were directed to ensure that potable… water is made available to all schools in their respective States on or before September 15, 2011, and the Chief Secretaries of the States… were directed to file affidavits on or before September 20.
The order referred to an affidavit filed by the Karnataka Chief Secretary. It mentioned that out of the 46,400 schools in the State, drinking water was provided in 43,437 schools, and in the remaining institutions, the facility would be created on or before October 31, 2011. “We direct the State [Karnataka] to ensure that till permanent water connections are provided in the schools, drinking water is made available in the schools at least through tanks/containers, and an affidavit to that effect be filed by the Chief Secretary on or before 15th October, 2011.The Chief Secretary is also directed to indicate in the affidavit the other infrastructure facilities which the State has provided in the schools in pursuance of the directions of this court passed from time to time.”
The Bench said that since Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Gujarat, Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura had filed affidavits, stating that they had provided all schools with drinking water facility, they should indicate in their affidavits the other infrastructure created in the schools. The Bench directed that the matter listed for further hearing on October 18.