Delhi High court (Image: PTI)
The Delhi government told the high court on Monday that it has taken steps to provide relief to those affected by the flooding of the Yamuna river this month.
The counsel for the government submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, which was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) matter seeking free ration, medical assistance etc. at the relief camps here, that a cabinet decision has been taken to provide a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each to the affected families and shelter has also been given to them.
The bench, also comprising Justice Saurabh Banerjee, asked the government to file a status report on the issue and listed the matter for further hearing on September 13.
Standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi, who appeared in the court on behalf of the Delhi government, also raised "serious objections" against the petition, saying it was filed without any due diligence or approaching the authorities first and "reflects as if nothing has been done".
Advocate Arun Panwar also appeared for the government.
Heavy rain in the upper catchment areas of the Yamuna, including in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana, led to the river swelling to record levels this month.
At 208.66 metres on July 13, the Yamuna surpassed its previous record of 207.49 metres set in September 1978 by a significant margin. It breached embankments and penetrated deeper into the city than it has in more than four decades.
Petitioner Akash Bhattacharya, a former assistant professor at the Azim Premji University, said in his plea that around 25,000 people were affected by the flood and their livestock are living in extreme conditions at the relief camps, without proper sanitation facilities and food.
Filed through advocate KR Shiyas, the petition said the unprecedented flood rendered hundreds of people who reside on the Yamuna floodplain homeless and submerged several houses in the river bed.
"In the alarming and unprecedented situation, the state machinery of the capital has failed to protect the life and livelihood of hundreds of people in the capital," it claimed.
The plea sought to direct the city government to notify this flood as a natural disaster under the National Disaster Management Authority Act.
It also sought a direction to the Delhi government to appoint a nodal officer for examining the loss that occurred in the Yamuna flood and conducting surveys of the victims in every camp and to provide an immediate cash assistance of Rs 50,000 for those who lost their belongings and shelter.
"Direct the state authorities to take immediate measures to provide free ration, medical assistance, sanitary facilities and essential medicines to prevent post-flood endemics and water-borne diseases," it said.
(Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed; only the image & headline may have been reworked by www.republicworld.com)