10 Sep 2023 4:30 AM GMT
The Telangana High Court in furtherance of remedial and pre-emptive measures for past and future floods has asked the government to file a status report regarding the responsibility of the Government under Section 39 of the Disaster Management Act.The Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project on the Godavari River suffered heavy damages due to massive floods last year but is back in operation to...
The Telangana High Court in furtherance of remedial and pre-emptive measures for past and future floods has asked the government to file a status report regarding the responsibility of the Government under Section 39 of the Disaster Management Act.
The Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project on the Godavari River suffered heavy damages due to massive floods last year but is back in operation to meet the irrigation requirements of the state.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice N.V Shravan Kumar thus asked the authorities to inform the court of the measures taken to protect the Kaleshwaram dam from similar damage this year.
"It is therefore directed that on or before next date of hearing, the State Government shall file a status report with regard to measures taken by it under Section 39 of the Act. On the next date of hearing, the respondents shall also appraise this Court with regard to measures taken in respect of Kaleswaram Dam."
The Court had previously directed the State to provide relief to victims and prevent the spread of diseases due to such floods.
When the matter was taken up again, the Bench was informed by the Special Government Pleader and Senior Counsel Harender Pershad that the total number of deaths due to floods was 47 and 813 cattle lost their lives. Medical camps were set up, where medicines and medical support were administered. Food, drinking water and temporary stay were provided to all in need. He further informed the Court, that all 20,387 victims had found their way back home, and as such no relief camps were still in progress.
The Court had directed the State to set up weather stations to monitor and provide updates. In reference to that, Senior Counsel Pershad submitted:
"Telangana State Development Planning Society has set up weather stations to give hourly data about weather and monitor the same. Chief Secretary, head of State had conducted regular telecommunication and video conferences with the district collectors briefing them about the measures that are to be taken. 10 NDRF Cad teams deployed in two helicopters for hard-to-reach areas for the purpose and rescue and relocation. And lastly, holidays were declared through the State to protect the citizens."
The petitioner Advocate Prabhakar Chikkudu conceded that the Government had followed, more or less all the directions of the Court, but submitted that he has cited 8 suggestions that deserve consideration. He further stated that as per Section 39 of the Disaster Management Act, the State is obligated to prepare an Action Plan, so as to avoid future calamities and have an immediate course of action, in case of calamities.
Advocate Prabhakar also stated that all encroachment should be removed from the FTL (Full Tank Level) in Dam areas and water bodies and future construction should be barred.
He stated that the loss of animal lives was equally devastating, and the State should ensure compensation to fodder banks and cattle owners.
After hearing the contentions, the Court observed: "Court has taken note of the measures, now that floods are not there, we will grant them some breathing time, and fix a date before vacation, with specific mentions a regarding kaleshwaram dam. We will dispose them in December.”
The matters have been accordingly posted on 18th December 2023 for compliance.
Case Title: Dr. Cheruku Sudhakar, MBBS. vs. Union of India
Counsel for Petitioner: Prabhakar Chikkudu
Counsel for Respondent: Special Government Pleaded Harender Pershad
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