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Lack Of Basic Amenities Like Water, Electricity Violates Fundamental Rights Of Tribal Villagers In Gadchiroli: Bombay HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance

Sharmeen Hakim
23 Aug 2022 1:53 PM GMT
Lack Of Basic Amenities Like Water, Electricity Violates Fundamental Rights Of Tribal Villagers In Gadchiroli: Bombay HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance
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The Bombay High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the "non-existence" of even basic amenities like water and electricity for tribals of certain villages in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.Based on a letter by the villagers, it noted that the government failed to provide even a boat and boatman for the tribals during the five months of the monsoon even as their surroundings get...

The Bombay High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the "non-existence" of even basic amenities like water and electricity for tribals of certain villages in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.
Based on a letter by the villagers, it noted that the government failed to provide even a boat and boatman for the tribals during the five months of the monsoon even as their surroundings get completely water logged.
A division of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice GA Sanap appointed an amicus curiae and issued notice to the State through the Chief Secretary and various other departments like revenue and tribal welfare.
"Issues like non-availability of electricity, non-availability of water, non-availability of essential medical services, non availability of educational facilities and so on take serious turn during the period of five months and all these facilities are almost non-existent for the tribal villagers," the bench noted.
It added that there was a serious violation of fundamental rights.
"Denial of the aforestated facilities to the villagers for almost half of the year leads to serious violation of fundamental rights of the villagers who are all tribal. We, therefore, take cognizance of this petition and direct that an experienced advocate be appointed to assist the Court."
The bench appointed advocate Renuka Shukla to assist the court as amicus curiae.
Tribals residing in remote and isolated villages such as Vengnur, Surgaon, Adangepalli, Padkotola following within Vengnur District Gadchiroli are surrounded by dense forest and are situated near the water of Dina River Project, the bench noted.
The tribals said that in the rainy season, water of Dina Dam Kannamwar Reservoir surrounds these villages from all sides. As a result, these villages remain completely cut-off from the rest of the World for at least five months continuously.
And during this difficult time tribals can access outer World only through boats, a ride which is fraught with danger and risk.
However, since there was little contribution from the state on these issues, the High Court directed notices be issued to the State Government through the Chief Secretary, State of Maharashtra, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Revenue and Forest, Home Secretary, Principal Secretary of Public Health Department Social Tribal Welfare Department,Public Works Department and Director of Health Services, Nagpur, the District Collector, Gadchiroli and Superintendent of Police Gadchiorli, returnable in eight weeks.
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