|Publication:Times Of India Nagpur;
|Date:Apr 26, 2007;
Kolam deaths: HC notices to 3 more depts
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday included department of food and civil supplies, department of tribal welfare, and department of human resources development in the list of respondents in petition on malnutrition deaths of Kolam tribals and issued notices to them.
The division bench of justices Ambadas Joshi and R C Chavan also asked the state to comment on objections raised by petitioner’s counsel on the final action taken report prepared by it till April 27, which is the next date of hearing. The petitioner had suggested some short-term and long-term remedies on the action taken report. The hearing was attended by the commissioner of tribal development and additional collector of Yavatmal, who is also in-charge of public distribution system, and district health officer. Earlier, the state government, in a significant announcement informed the court that it had included all Kolam tribals in below poverty line (BPL) list and had distributed BPL cards to 19,000 families last week. However, it claimed that due to ceiling imposed by the Centre, it can’t accommodate more families under BPL list. The claim was however refuted by petitioner’s counsel Firdos Mirza.
Giving explanation on the drinking water problems in tribal-dominated villages of Kelapur, Ghatanji, Maregaon, Ralegaon, Kalam, and Arni in
Yavatmal district due high fluoride contamination, the government informed that it is supplying water to around 32 villages out of 37 through tankers, as per court guidelines. The government also informed that it had filled all vacancies of medical officers in the state.
On Monday, the petitioner’s counsel pointed out that the scarcity of water is being increasingly felt in the tribal-dominated areas due to onset of summer. The division bench, citing example of forest department, has asked the government to provide drinking water by the way of tankers in the interior areas of the district. The court also asked petitioner Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti to add Centre concerned officials as respondents and ordered government
to direct Amravati divisional commissioner to submit details of action taken report. Last month, the court had ordered petitioner and all concerned officials of the government to implement action taken report on the Kolam tribals starvation and malnutrition deaths in Yavatmal, which is most affected due to non-implementation of various schemes for the benefit of tribal families residing in the 710 tribal villages for protection of fundamental rights of food, shelter, education, health and drinking water to be made available to tribals.