HC not happy with the work of panel monitoring drains

HC not happy with the work of panel monitoring drains

Picture for representation only

The High Court of Karnataka has ordered Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar to conduct weekly meetings of the coordination committee formed three years ago to oversee civic works in Bengaluru, starting Wednesday. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari passed the orders on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the non-governmental organisation Citizens' Action Forum that urged the court to order the BBMP to ensure effective maintenance and monitoring of stormwater drains. 

The chief secretary was present at Tuesday's hearing following the court's orders to assist it on civic matters. The court appointed senior counsel Aditya Sondhi to the committee as an independent member. He will give suggestions and inputs to the committee to help the chief secretary look at issues from a different perspective. He would also inform the court about various developments. 

During the hearing, Bhaskar submitted that the committee had met five times, with representatives of central, state agencies and local bodies being in attendance. The meetings took place every second Friday and fourth Saturday. 

The court demanded the chief secretary to explain what decisions had been taken to address the civic issues and submit the minutes of all the meetings. It orally observed that the chief secretary must ensure every agency attends to the respective issue in complete totality. It expressed disappointment at the committee's performance in the past three years, saying the results had not been up to the expectations. 

Noting that Bengaluru has been developing at a rapid pace, the court ordered the chief secretary to expedite things. It further directed him to come up with a comprehensive plan outlying the areas of concern, the sub-plans and the plans to be implemented by the subsidiary agencies. 

The case will be heard again on October 10.