KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the high-level committee appointed by the state government to deal with the issue of frequent flooding in Kochi city to start deliberations on how to tackle the problem and file its first report by November 13. The court held that the committee should take immediate steps for cleaning and maintaining various canals in the city.
Justice Devan Ramachandran also urged all stakeholders to keep in mind the necessity of taking action on a war footing and they should not procrastinate deciding on the issue as the city might not be able to withstand another flooding. The court issued the order on a petition for cleaning Thevara-Perandoor canal.
The court also directed the state government to include the Kochi city police commissioner as a member of the high-level committee headed by the chief secretary.
The state government informed that it has issued an order prohibiting dumping of garbage into the Thevara-Perandoor canal and has also formed the committee. The petitioner submitted that nothing seemed to have changed at the ground level. He also brought to the notice of the court that there were media reports on entrusting the cleaning and maintenance of five canals in the city with a Dutch company by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. This was despite the corporation having its own Amrut project.
The court also directed the state government to publish the order banning the dumping of waste into Thevara-Perandoor canal in newspapers so that residents would be able to know that dumping of waste is punishable.Counsel for Kochi corporation submitted that action according to the High Court directives had been taken by the corporation.
‘No change yet’
Petitioner submitted nothing seemed to have changed at ground level. He also brought to the notice of the court that there were reports on entrusting the cleaning of five canals with a Dutch company, despite corporation having its own Amrut project.