HC seeks info on Govt’s action on flood

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Imphal, July 19 2017: The High Court of Manipur has asked the State Government to submit a report within two weeks about the action to tackle the twin problems of floods which caused extensive damages in the valley and landslides which wreaked havoc in the hills recently .

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin issued an order to this effect yesterday in connection with public interest litigation filed by one Angom Rajesh and three others .

The High Court order asked the State Government if it has taken up any long term plan to check floods and landslides in the State .

It further asked whether the State Government has formulated any specific plan to check deforestation activities and soil erosion .

The PIL was filed primarily with regard to rampant quarrying activities in Sekmai River and its adverse impacts on local environment .

While Advocate Meihoubam Rakesh is representing the petitioners, Senior Advocate Y Nirmolchand and Government Advocate H Debendra are appearing on behalf of respondents .

The High Court order issued yesterday pointed out that the same Court passed a judgement on November 19, 2015 which instructed the State Govt to form a committee to study rampant quarrying of stones and sands in Sekmai River and its impacts on environment .

In line with the Court’s instruction, the State Government issued a notification on January 19, 2016 regarding constitution of an expert committee with Additional Chief Secretary (IFC) WL Hangshing as chairman and IFCD Chief Engineer G Robindro as member secretary .

Other members of the committee were Chief Conservator of Forest (TP-III) H Brajamani, Environment Director Homeshur, Manipur Pollution Control Board Member Secretary T Mangi and Deputy Secretary (Revenue) Y Rajen .

The Court issued another order on January 25, 2016 which directed the committee to enquire into quarrying activities in Sekmai River and its effects on environment and submit a report to the State Government and the Court within three months .

Counsels appearing on behalf of the respondents submitted that they had no idea whether the committee had carried out any enquiry or not or whether the committee members ever held a meeting .

The division bench then directed the respondents to conduct an enquiry, if no enquiry has been conducted so far, and submit a report within two months .

There is no harm if the Government wishes to replace the committee members but the same process should be completed within one week, the Court told the respondents.

Source: The Sangai Express

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