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Power cuts halting water supply to farms amount to violating Article 19: Allahabad High Court

The Counsel, appearing for petitioners, accepted the fact that electricity connection has been restored but submitted that respondents are not adequately maintaining the tube-wells and disconnection of electricity is as usual.

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The Allahabad High Court has recently held that interruptions to electricity supply which affects the supply of water to agricultural fields amounts to violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of India as it affects business and profession of agriculturists.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order on Tuesday while hearing a PIL filed by Nathu Prasad Kushwaha and 14 others.

The respondents of Village Bachheura, District Banda filed the petition to restore electricity connection at Tube-well No. 17 (Piperi) within command area.

As per the petitioners, all agricultural fields in the command area are irrigated through the tube-well and unauthorized discontinuation of electricity adversely affects the distribution of water and ultimately agricultural production.

It is also stated that no Government Agency is adequately maintaining the tube-wells situated in the command area.

This Court order dated February 18, 2021, called upon the respondents and in response thereto, it is stated by Standing Counsel that electricity connection has already been restored, and as such, the Petition for writ has become infructuous.

The Counsel, appearing for petitioners, accepted the fact that electricity connection has been restored but submitted that respondents are not adequately maintaining the tube-wells and disconnection of electricity is as usual.

“Having considered the facts of the case, we are of considered opinion that in command area any eventuality that adversely affects the supply of water to the agricultural fields virtually amounts to the violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of India as that affects business and profession of the agriculturists. The responsible Government Agencies must ensure that in normal course, the tube-wells situated in command area must remain operational. Regular maintenance and supply of electricity to such tube-wells is necessary to ensure proper distribution of water,” the order said.

“We deem it appropriate to dispose of the petition for writ by directing respondents to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to all tube wells in the command area including the Tubewell No. 17 (Piperi),” the Court observed.

Read Also: PIL in Chhattisgarh HC against illegal occupation of Naya Raipur land

The District Magistrate, Banda is directed to ensure regular maintenance of the tube-well situated in command area of District – Banda. For other command areas, the concerned Officers of the Electricity Companies shall ensure uninterrupted supply of the electricity and the concerned District Magistrate for regular maintenance of the tube-wells.

The Court disposed the Petition with the above directions.

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