The Gauhati High Court directed the Jal Board to file an affidavit on the progress in the work for supplying drinking water to different parts of Guwahati city.
The Division Bench of Justice Suman Shyam and Justice Susmita Phukan Khaund heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed raising the shortage of potable drinking water for residents of Guwahati.
The Court noted that despite a number of projects being floated by the Government, the citizens are yet to get proper supply of drinking water.
A. Phukan, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted that not to speak of furnishing clean water to the citizens, there is even no information available in the public domain as regards the measures initiated by the administration for supplying water to the South-West and South-East areas of the city coming within the GMDA area as well as the progress made in the phases of the project implemented so far for other parts of the city.
According to Phukan, there is also no clarity as regards the availability of funds as well as the timeline for completion of these projects.
Refuting such arguments, S. Bora, standing counsel, submitted the work for making potable drinking water available to Guwahati city-dwellers is progressing on a war footing and the department reasonably expects to make potable drinking water available to every house-hold by the end of March 2024.
Bora prayed for two weeks time to file a detailed affidavit incorporating all such facts including information which have been called for in the order dated 22-09-2022 passed by the High Court.
The Court clarified that the affidavit shall be filed by the Managing Director of the Jal Board by indicating the following aspects:-
(i) The progress made in the work for supplying drinking water in different parts of Guwahati city and the timeline for completion of the scheme(s).
(ii) The availability of funds for execution of the projects.
(iii) Interim arrangements, if any, being made by the authorities for supplying drinking water to the citizens.
The High Court has directed the registry to list the case on February 8, 2023 for further hearing.