Delhi HC closes PIL seeking relief for families affected by Yamuna floods

The Delhi High Court Thursday closed the proceedings in a petition seeking relief measures for those affected by the flooding of the Yamuna river earlier this year after noting the steps taken by the authorities to provide succour.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said no further court orders were required and disposed of the public interest litigation by Akash Bhattacharya.

Heavy rain in the upper catchment areas of the Yamuna, including in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana, led to the river swelling to record levels this July.

At 208.66 metres on July 13, the Yamuna surpassed its previous record of 207.49 metres set in September 1978 by a significant margin. It breached embankments and penetrated deeper into the city than it had in more than four decades.

In a status report filed in the court, the Delhi government said not only were relief camps established in buildings, schools and community centres but financial assistance of Rs 10,000 was also provided to over two thousand families affected by the floods and NDRF was deployed for rescue and relief operations.

The court recorded an apex committee is in existence besides a central control room to deal with flood situations and numerous steps were taken to deal with the flooding.

It noted that as per the report, food and other amenities were provided at 47 relief camps by the state government. Various NGOs and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara also lent a helping hand.

“In light of the status report, no further order is required. PIL stands disposed of,” the court said.

The petitioner had said in his plea that around 25,000 people were affected by the floods and sought free rations, medical assistance etc for them at relief camps.

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Filed through advocate KR Shiyas, the public interest litigation (PIL) said the unprecedented flood rendered hundreds of people who lived on the Yamuna floodplain homeless and submerged several houses.

“In the alarming and unprecedented situation, the state machinery of the capital has failed to protect the life and livelihood of hundreds of people in the capital,” it claimed.

The plea had sought a direction to the state government to notify the floods as a natural disaster under the National Disaster Management Authority Act.

It had also sought a direction to the Delhi government to appoint a nodal officer to examine the loss and survey every camp, and provide immediate cash assistance of Rs 50,000 to those who lost their belongings and shelter.

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