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Manipur High Court disposes of PIL on water supply to Covid-19 containment zones in state

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The Manipur High Court on Monday disposed of a PIL alleging that no water is available in a village that had been declared a Covid-19 Containment Zone.

The PIL was filed by a resident of Chalou Maning Leikai that after the village was declared a Containment Zone, no water is available because water tankers are reluctant to come to the area to supply water. On the strength of the said contention, a prayer has been made that the respondents be directed to comply with the interim guidelines issued by the WHO.

The Division Bench of Justice KH. Nobin Singh and Justice  A. Bimol  Singh observed that the issue involved in the PIL , in fact, relates to the said village only but in view of the problems arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic in the State, the scope of this PIL has been expanded to cover all the areas and in particular, the Containment Zone areas only in the State of Manipur.

On July 28,  when the matter was listed for consideration, the Court while issuing notice to the respondents passed an interim order directing that the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East be instructed by the State Government to supply water at the expense of the residents.

An affidavit on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East has been filed which is on record.

On perusal of the affidavit filed by the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East, the High Court found that the issue involved has been settled through dialogue and discussion which is not disputed by H. Bisheshwari, counsel appearing for the petitioner and therefore, “this PIL stands disposed of in respect of the issue relating to the said village and no further direction is required to be issued by this Court,” said the Court.

As regards the other containment zone areas in Manipur, the Court while disposing of this PIL, is of the view that the following directions can be issued, which this court does as under:

(i) The Department of PHED, Government of Manipur is directed to publish the contact numbers of the concerned Executive Engineers, PHED in the local dailies within a week,

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(ii) If any person who resides in any containment zone area, is in need of water on account of the fact that the area has been declared as the containment zone area, may contact the Executive Engineer, PHED of the concerned area over the telephone number notified and make a request for supply of water; 

(iii) In the event of such a request being made by any person from any of the containment zone areas, the Executive Engineer, PHED of the concerned area shall supply the water for which the cost is to be borne by the residents of the area.

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