Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the government seeking to review the Bench’s directive for operating one more passenger boat between Perumbalam island and South Paravur and taking appropriate steps to dredge the boat channel for plying boats without any obstruction.

The Bench comprising Justice P.R. Raman and Justice S. Siri Jagan observed that it was not disputed that only one passenger boat was operating between Perumbalam and South Paravur.

Therefore, the court was satisfied that the islanders did not have adequate mode of transport to the mainland notwithstanding the fact that there were boat services to other parts of Alappuzha and Ernakulam.

It was also not disputed that for the people of the island, the only mode of transport was boat service.

In its earlier judgment, the court had held that it was one of the cardinal functions of the government to provide transportation facilities to the people who did not have any other mode of transport even though the boat service was not economical.

In its petition, the government submitted that the judgment was rendered on the premise that there was only one boat service to the island. It said that the Water Transport Department had been operating 154 trips per day to the island for ferrying passengers to the mainland of Alappuzha and Ernakulam.

Besides, the department operated three trips to Poothotta from the island. The distance between South Paravur and Poothotta was less than 5 km, which was well connected by bus service.

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