Constitutional, Water Pollution, Wildlife, Forests, Standing, Property, Prevention
A writ petition was filed to protect the health of thousands of people living in Cuttack and adjacent areas who were suffering from pollution from sewage being caused by the Municipal Committee Cuttack and the SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack. The main contention of the petitioner was that the dumping of untreated waste water of the hospital and some other parts of the city in the Taladanda canal was creating health problems in the city. The State, on the other hand contended that a central sewerage system had been installed in the hospital and that there is no sewage flow into the taladanda canal as alleged. Further, it was asserted that the State had not received any information relating to either pollution or of epidemic of water borne diseases caused by contamination of the canal. During the course of the hearing of the petition the Court noticed that not a single Department of the State Government was willing to take any responsibility in the matter and were conveniently shifting the burden to another department. A startling revelation during the course of the hearing was the fact that there was a report culminating from a survey conducted earlier by the State Pollution Board, which had declared water in the city not fit for human consumption. Further reports that were obtained during the pendency of the petition revealed that the water was not even fit for bathing. After going into the constitutional provisions, and the recommendations of the State Pollution Control Board which had made stark revelations about the conditions of drinking water and health in the city, the Court directed the State to immediately take necessary steps to prevent and control water pollution and to maintain wholesomeness of water which is supplied for human consumption. A responsible Municipal Council is constituted for the precise purpose of preserving public health. Provision of proper drainage system in working conditions cannot be avoided by pleading financial inability.