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May 23, 2018
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 Provide basic facilities to Ockhi victims, says HC Directs State government to submit status report tomorrow on action taken

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday, a Division Bench of Justices M. Venugopal and R. Tharani directed the State government, the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police, Kanniyakumari, to provide basic basic amenities like drinking water, food, electricity and medical facilities to people who have been left devastated by Cyclone Ockhi and file a status report on December 7.

The petitioner, advocate W. Wilsto Dhaspin of Kanniyakumari, said that the cyclone had left the people of Kanniyakumari completely devastated and thrown normal life out of gear.

Close to 50,000 trees and 6,000 electric poles had been uprooted and people were living without electricity for more than five days, he said.

Though the Meteorological Department had issued a warning about the cyclone, no precautionary measures were taken by the State and district authorities and this impacted the lives of the people, he said.

‘Lack of manpower’

The petitioner said that Kanniyakumari had turned into an island with the flooding of the town and people were suffering without basic amenities.

The whereabouts of fishermen who had ventured into the sea for their livelihood were not known. Though the State government had ensured that funds were allotted for providing relief, basic amenities had not reached the people. Locals and volunteers were engaged in rescue work, said the petitioner.

He claimed that there was a lack of materials and manpower to undertake relief activities.

Adequate police protection should be provided to the people in their hour of need, the petitioner demanded.