CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has issued as many as 33 directives to the Tirunelveli district administration and other officials concerned to improve the facilities available at the famed falls in Courtalam.
A Division Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and S Vadiyanathan gave the direction while passing interim orders on a public interest writ petition from one R Krishnasamy on Tuesday.
The Bench appointed advocate-commissioners and based on their report, issued the directions. The authorities concerned should file compliance report also, the bench said.
The very first directive prohibited use of oil, shampoos, soaps, detergents, chemicals and shikakai, plastic items and washing of clothes in the bath area of all the falls and sale of the said items. The safety pillars and railings should be made of materials which do not rust and have to be erected, fixed and painted before the season begins. The pits and holes in the bath area have to be closed with good quality concrete. The officials should monitor the same daily. More high mast lights should be erected and maintained. More toilets should be constructed at the falls area as well as at the bus stand and women appointed for maintenance of women toilets and dressing rooms.
The bench also restrained the authorities concerned from discharging sewage into the river and the toilets should be shifted away within 24 hours from the river area. Repairs must be carried out to existing ones. The drinking water RO system near the main falls should be repaired and more RO have to be provided.
The bench also directed the government authorities to shift the TASMAC liquour shops near the falls to far away places and to provide bar facilities to avoid toddlers from drinking in open places more particularly at the falls sites. Violators should be fined and should not be permitted to take bath. Breathe analysers should be provided. Health inspectors should visit hotels and eateries and check the quality of food served. Unhygenic hotels should be sealed. Drunken driving must be curtailed and mobile courts be stationed to prevent people from indulging in criminal activities, the Bench said.