Identify long-term desilting mechanism: High Court

Asserting that the issue of desilting of stormwater drains in the city could not be delayed, especially keeping in mind the approaching monsoon, the First Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday called upon the committee constituted for this purpose to devise a long-term solution immediately.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan directed the Special Committee headed by the Chairman and Managing Director of Chennai Metrowater Supply and Sewerage Board to hold a meeting within ten days.

Thereafter, frequent meetings are to be held at least till November 2016 to find a solution on a long term basis. The Committee would deliberate upon the technical expertise available and the machinery to be acquired to assist in desilting the drains, considering the machines bought at present do not seem to serve the purpose so far as narrower roads are concerned, the Bench said.

The directions were passed on a PIL plea moved by activist A. Narayanan who sought the court to direct the authorities to take immediate steps to protect stormwater drains against all sources of pollution.

The petitioner also wanted the government to prohibit deploying humans for removing silt from the drains.

When the PIL came up for hearing, the Bench said, “The seriousness to tackle the problem of stormwater drains, keeping in mind the problem faced by the city in 2015, must be reflected at the ground level, which we find absent.”

Pointing out that once again, the drains have been desilted manually with safety gear mechanism for labourers, as progress with the machine was slow, the Bench said,

“These machines were selected after the authorities concerned looked into them in-depth. Now, to state that these machines are larger in size and thus could be used only in broader roads is quite surprising.” The Bench, while agreeing with the submission of the petitioner that once again, unscientific methods are being resorted to, said, “We put to the petitioner that the courts themselves cannot desilt the drains and the endeavour can only be to ensure that the elected government of the day truly reflects the will of the people by carrying out various administrative functions and if violations of statutory provisions take place, the court would give the nudge to ensure that they are complied with.”

The court then posted the PIL to November 4 for filing compliance report.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:28:36 AM |

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