Attend to civic complaints within a month, Madras HC tells govt
CHENNAI: Take no more than a month to process and take action on civic petitions and complaints, the Madras high court has told municipal authorities. Noting that the high court had to handle a deluge of cases and dedicate a lot of time for them, the court also directed the state government to take steps to issue a government order directing all its wings to attend to civic complaints within 30 days of receiving them.
“In case, for some reason, additional time is required, the person who has made the representation would be informed in writing,” the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan said recently.
The judges were hearing a PIL that wanted a representation from the Tindivanam Nagara Gingee Road Auto Thozhilalar Nala Sangam on encroachment menace to be disposed of by the Villupuram district administration. K Balu, the counsel for the association, said water bodies were being destroyed and unauthorized constructions were springing up all over the region, but there had been no response from the administration despite complaints.
The first bench, pointing out that several such cases had come up before it for orders, told the government pleader: “There are numerous petitions coming forth before this court arising from allegations of unauthorized construction, misuse of waterways. In effect, the grievance is about municipal functioning. It is, thus, necessary that these grievances are attended to and redressed, provided the grievances are found to be genuine, within a time-bound schedule.”
The government pleader assured the court that the association’s plea would be disposed of within the maximum period of one month. If allegations made in the petition were found to be correct, action in accordance with law would be taken immediately, he said.
The first bench gave a similar directive to the Puducherry government on Wednesday, after advocate A P Suryaprakasam argued a case of destruction of water bodies, tanks and lakes in the Union territory. The case relates to a PIL filed by P Bhaskaran. Bhaskaran said he had sent several representations to the authorities and then met the Puducherry lieutenant governor in September last year, urging them to save water bodies. Since there was no response, he filed the PIL saying his pleas for saving tanks had fallen on deaf ears.