MLAs are obliged to address grievance of their electorate: Madras high court

Chennai: Pointing out that Members of Legislative Assembly are getting elected only to address the grievance of their electorate and even the court comes across very many public interest litigations pertaining to basic civic issues without the persons approaching the elected representatives and the elected representatives are also under obligation to address the grievance of their electorate, the Madras high court has directed a public interest litigant to submit a detailed representation to the jurisdictional MLA for redressal of his grievance relating to providing washroom facilities in Tirunelveli new bus stand campus.

A division bench comprising Justices M.Sathyanarayanan and B.Pugalendhi disposed of a PIL filed by A.M.Sundaravel, claiming to be a social activist.

 According to petitioner, in the new bus stand complex located in Tirunelveli Town, there were no sufficient washroom facilities available and as a consequence thereof, the drivers and conductors of private and government buses as well as travelling public were using the open spaces nearby to answer the nature’s call, which in turn leads to health hazard, inconvenience and nuisance to the road users. In this regard, he submitted a detailed representation. Since there was no response, he filed the present PIL, he added.

 The bench said since the petitioner claims that he was also doing social welfare activities and also filed very many petitions in public interest, as party in person, this court put a query as to the steps taken by him to educate the public about the civic sense and though the petitioner claims he has done so, no material has been placed before this court to the said effect.

 On behalf of the authorities it was submitted that there were sufficient washroom facilities available and it was assured that the said washroom facilities would be maintained in neat and sanitary condition and periodical inspection will be made by the District Health Officer and his subordinate officials and if necessary further washroom facilities would also be provided. “The respondents (Tirunelveli District Health Officer, District Collector and the Corporation Commissioner) are also under obligation to provide minimum basic civic necessities to the public and they have to maintain such facilities in neat, good, healthy and sanitary conditions”, the judge added.

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