Madras High Court on Friday voiced concern over lack of coordination among agencies in distributing relief to people affected by the unprecedented floods in the city.
“What concerns (us) is there seems to be little lack of coordination among agencies in distributing relief materials,” the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Satyanarayana said.
The bench stated this when a PIL seeking formation of micro level committees to streamline the exercise came up for hearing.
Though the Army, Navy and Coast Guard had undertaken relief operations, it said the views of the Defence Ministry should be heard before passing final orders, the bench said.
The judges also felt that contributions made to flood relief measures could be used only for the purpose for which these were being made, instead of being added to the general Chief Minister’s relief fund.
Earlier this week, advocate A P Suryaprakasam had moved court seeking “protection” for aid workers by forming micro-level managing committees following charges that ruling party workers and locals were harassing relief personnel carrying material for flood victims.
He had submitted that he had made representations to authorities, requesting them to constitute micro-level disaster management and relief-providing committees to coordinate with individual volunteers and NGOs in all flood affected areas and claimed he had first-hand experience of being accosted by locals while distributing food to the needy.
He also said that unless micro-level flood relief committees were formed in flood affected areas, relief workers may not be able to move freely to distribute material to people in their hour of crisis.
Justice M M Sundresh, who had initially issued notice, later said it would be treated as a PIL in view of larger public interest and heard by a bench.
Accordingly, the case came up before the bench.
The bench today said it was not inclined to entertain the PIL filed by Suryaprakasam. Instead, it would take it up suo motu and pass orders.
During arguments, Advocate General of Tamil Nadu A L Somayaji denied any slack in relief measures and claimed state government has already undertaken door to door enumeration of the affected people.
The bench asked the state and central governments to file their replies by December 15.