PIL seeks adequate supply of water to wash hands frequently

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) to ensure supply of water for a minimum of three hours a day since every person would require at least three litres to wash their hands frequently as advised by the government to prevent COVID-19.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy accepted a request made by litigant A.P. Suryaprakasam for early hearing of the case and directed their court officer to issue a slip instructing the registry to list the matter at the earliest. In his affidavit, The petitioner, a lawyer by profession, also sought a direction to Chennai Corporation to ensure adequate water and hand sanitisers were made available in all schools and colleges in the city.

Stating that COVID-19 had been characterised a pandemic by World Health Organisation, the petitioner said, all physicians as well as the government authorities had been advising people to wash their hands several times a day to keep the virus at bay. Pointing out that three litres of water would be required to wash hands continuously in running tap water for about 40 seconds, he said, the city would require several million litres every day.

However, unfortunately, at present, metro water was being supplied in the city only on alternative days and people were not able to get adequate water even for drinking and cooking. In such a situation, washing hands multiple times in a day was next to impossible and the government advice cannot be followed unless it takes serious steps to ensure adequate supply of water to every household through pipelines as well as tanker lorries.

He also claimed that 90% of the government as well as corporation schools in the city too were suffering from non supply of adequate water and not even in one school, either the civic body or the school education department had supplied liquid soaps or hand sanitisers to maintain personal hygiene. He insisted that steps should be taken on a war footing basis to ensure adequate supply of water to schools as well as households.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:00:57 PM |

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