The Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in its judgment has held that it is the duty of the local authorities to provide basic amenities to the citizens. Lack of amenities especially, which create health hazard, is a deficiency in service and attract the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.
Anish Kumar Garg of Ladwa district filed a complaint before the district forum, Kurukshetra, against the municipal committee, alleging that the MC had failed to provide and maintain necessary services inspite of charging development fee of Rs 24,309.
The complainant was paying house tax and other local taxes regularly.
However, the MC had failed to construct any pucca road or provide streetlights adjacent to his house. The district forum allowed the complaint and directed the MC and
deputy commissioner, Kurukshetra to remove the garbage and the slush and construct already sanctioned roads for ingress and outgress of the people of the locality. Rs 1,000 was also awarded as compensation to the complainant.
However, the president and secretary of the municipal committee filed an appeal before the commission contending that the complainant was not a 'consumer' under the act and that the complaint was an abuse of the process of law. It also said that sufficient facilities were provided to the people.
The commission, however, speaking through its judicial member, BM Bedi, rejected the appeal and upheld the order of the district forum.
“The grievance of the complainant was that despite charging development fees and complainant residing in approved colony, the basic amenities were not being provided.
Complainant has only sought directions to the MC to maintain hygienic conditions and to provide facility like internal roads, removal of polluting waters etc,” the commission observed.