Chennia Floods: PIL in Madras HC seeks protection for flood relief workers

Chennai, Dec 7: A PIL was filed in Madras High Court on Monday by a lawyer seeking protection for aid workers by forming micro-level managing committees following charges that ruling partymen and locals were harassing relief personnel carrying material for flood victims.

Justice M M Sundresh, before whom advocate A P Suryaprakasam made a mention of the matter and sought urgent hearing, agreed to hear it tomorrow.


The petitioner submitted he had made representations to authorities, requesting them to constitute micro level disaster management and relief-providing committees to coordinate with individual volunteers and NGOs in all flood-affected areas and claimed he had first-hand experience of being accosted by locals while distributing food to the needy.

He said on December 3, when he was leading volunteers carrying food material for deaf and dumb students of Little Flower convent near Gemini Circle, they were prevented by 'local goons' from distributing food and bedsheets to the victims.

They asked him to hand over the materials to them or go back without distributing them, he said in the petition. As such there was no link between government authorities and flood victims, he said, adding that in spite of availability of sufficient relief material, volunteers were not able to distribute them to victims as they were clueless about where to give it and whom to give it to.

"There is no one from the government to guide them and give them instructions," he said.

Unless a micro-level flood relief committee was formed in flood affected areas, relief workers may not be able to move freely to distribute material to people in their hour of crisis, he said.


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