KOCHI: The amicus curiae, appointed by the Kerala High Court on Wednesday, informed the court it is clear several governmental interventions aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of the tribal communities have failed to make the intended impact. An dvocate P Deepak was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in a sou motu proceeding initiated in the case of lynching of Madhu, a tribal youth at Attappadi. In the interim report, amicus curiae stated crores of rupees have apparently been allotted and spent for providing drinking water, yet the taps have always run dry.
Millions have been expended for addressing the issue of malnutrition. However, infant deaths and stunted children continue to scar the face of Attappadi. Solar-generated street and community-lighting project have not yet realised.The one and only road connecting Mukkali with Valiyammal Gurukulam Cancer Treatment Center remains unpaved. This road is the only access to outside for the 500-odd tribals. An objection from the forest authorities was stated to be the reason, whereas the real reason was the pressure exerted by the owners and drivers of 40-odd off-road vehicles who have monopolised the use of the road.
The report stated there was substantial influx of funds for the development of Attappadi. However, this has only led to the firm entrenchment of a politician-contractor-bureaucrat nexus that has made effective implementation of development schemes next to impossible. Social audit is necessary not only for purposes of introspection, but also transparency and accountability in the implementation of the project.
The situation also warrants the immediate appointment of a ‘Nodal officer’, an officer not below the rank of an IAS, to be permanently stationed at Attappadi with full and complete infrastructural backup for effectively coordinating and integrating the enforcement of the welfare schemes, stated in the report.
The court initiated the proceedings based on the letter of Justice K Surendra Mohan seeking the intervention of the court in the lynching case.