The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued a notice to the state government on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions for commencing much- delayed construction of canal on right bank of Ukai dam.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi, hearing the PIL, directed the Secretary of Narmada Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpsar Department to file reply within two weeks as to why the petition should not be admitted and posted the matter for hearing on August 8.
The PIL has been filed by Mansingbhai Chaudhari, convener of Ukai Right Bank Canal Adhikar Samiti (URBCAS).
Chaudhari's lawyer S H Iyer submitted that due to inaction on the part of the government in constructing the canal, approved in 1997, on right bank of the dam, the villagers were suffering miserably.
This was causing tremendous hardship to the people of tribal dominated 59 villages, as they have been deprived of drinking and irrigation water, he said.
Iyer submitted that construction of canal on left bank of the dam has been completed and people residing on that side have prospered, while those on right bank have remained underdeveloped.