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Basic amenities a day dream in many villages, politics should not come in way of development: Bombay HC

The petitioners told the court that in 127 villages, road development works urgently needed to be undertaken and under the Panchayat Raj system, gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad are bound to provide funds to carry out the said works.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
January 31, 2021 6:19:20 pm
Bombay High Court newsEnvironmental NGO Vanashakti recently moved a PIL in the Bombay High Court challenging the Coastal Regulation Zone notification (File)

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently observed that many villages and hamlets are deprived of basic amenities and that politics should not come in the way of their development.

The court made the observations on January 28 while rejecting a writ petition filed by four gram panchayats in Osmanabad, which sought the setting aside of a Maharashtra government order issued last April, transferring sanctioned development works worth Rs 4 crore in 127 villages from the zilla parishad to the public works department.

A division bench of Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala and Justice Shrikant D Kulkarni was hearing the writ plea filed by Alni, Ekurka, Palsapkurka and Kanerwadi gram panchayats through advocates V D Salunkhe and Mayur V Salunke.

The petitioners told the court that in 127 villages, road development works urgently needed to be undertaken and under the Panchayat Raj system, gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad are bound to provide funds to carry out the said works.

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Salunke said that in view of the change in the ruling party and under the influence of the guardian minister, the state government issued a corrigendum in April 29, 2020, taking away the works from the zilla parishad and handed them to the PWD for execution.

The court held that no prejudice was caused to the petitioners though the implementing agency was changed and that the government was empowered to get good quality of work done through the PWD.

“It is not a case of political interference in changing the implementing agency. The petitioners have no legal right to insist upon a particular implementing agency when there are no rules or the statute,” the HC noted.

The bench led by Justice Gangapurwala added, “Basic amenities are the essential foundation for a decent living and it enhances economic growth and quality of life. The scope of basic amenities includes safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, all weather road to village, electrification, fuel, connectivity, healthcare centre, school, playground and recreational facilities and many more.”

The HC, while dismissing the writ plea, said: “The poor and marginalised sections living in rural interior parts are denied basic amenities in spite of dedicated schemes and budgetary allocations. Still there are many villages and hamlets where basic amenities are a day dream. Politics should not come in the way of development of villages.”

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