Kerala HC Warned PWD, Panchayat After 51-Yr-Old Complains Of Water Logging Due To Culvert Constructed BY Them| Rectify Or Face Action


The Kerala High Court in the case Syama M. v. State of Kerala & Ors observed and has warned of action against the Public Works Department, PWD and the Panchayat, in case of any defect in rectifying the issue which relates to the water-logging of a private property, which being due to the construction of a culvert in an unscientific manner near the said property by the authorities.
The bench headed by Justice Devan Ramachandran in the case observed and took note of the submissions of the Senior Government Pleader’s that reificatory steps had been taken to ensure no water-logging in the house of the petitioner’s, which was being done in conjunction with the Panchayat, thus, since the culvert constructed as well as the drain blocked by the authority would have to be reconstructed or is to be repaired.
It has also been directed by the said court that the Chief Executive Officer of the State Disaster Management Authority, KSDMA for filing the report ascertaining the factum of water-logging in the petitioner’s property.
Therefore, it being the case of the petitioner that Punalur Muvattupuzha Road, near which her property was situated, was widened by the Kerala State Transport Project, KSTP.
The petitioner in the plea submitted that the KSTP had also constructed a new culvert in an unscientific manner near her property, due to which heavy water flows through her property during rainy season, thereby creating a disastrous situation.
Further, the petitioner in the plea averred that it has accordingly been submitted by her a complaint in terms of Section 30(2)(iii) of the Disaster Management Act,2005 (hereinafter, ‘Act, 2005’), stating her sufferings, before the District Disaster Management Authority, DDMA. Thus, no steps were taken to redress her grievance.
Earlier, the petitioner had approached the High Court. Thus, the court had directed as per its decision taken dated 27.06.2022 that the DDMA to consider her complaint and take a reasoned decision thereon. The court had further granted liberty to the said authority to decide whether the issue highlighted by the petitioner would fall within the ambit of the Act, 2005.
However, the petitioner aggrieved that despite the Chief Engineer of the PWD, and the Executive Engineer of the KSTP being duty bound in order to rectify the issue and no such steps had been taken.
The plea moved stated that the petitioner and her family has become miserable and the petitioner finds it difficult to live in the house of the petitioner’s. Therefore, the noncompliance of Exhibit P3, directions by the DDMA, Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the fundamental right guarantee d under the constitution of India to the petitioner has been violated.
Therefore, the petitioner moved the plea seeking the issuance of directions to the respondent authorities in order to ensure compliance with the directions of the DDMA. Accordingly, the court listed the matter for further consideration on November 06, 2023.
The counsel, Advocate Jestin Mathew appeared for the petitioner. The counsel, Special Government Pleader P.K. Babu, Government Pleader Manoj Kumar, and Standing Counsel for Konni Gram Panchayat V.K. Sunil represented on behalf of the respondent.